So what’s next for global climate action after the G7 Summit?
President Donald Trump’s response (or rather lack thereof, given his early departure from the summit) for action on climate change, along with his other demands and behaviour, left the United States alienated from its closest allies following the recent summit of the Group of Seven major industrial democracies. In the Charlevoix G7 Summit Communique, the United States has refused to join common statements by the other six nations reaffirming their commitment to the Paris climate agreement, which President Trump wants to abandon.
Instead, the U.S. unilaterally promoted fossil fuels, with Trump renouncing the whole Communique in a Twitter tirade.
In the Communique’s section on climate change, every member except the United States, stood united in support of the Paris climate agreement, promising to work with one another, local governments, businesses and the public to deal with global warming:-
“Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the European Union reaffirm their strong commitment to implement the Paris Agreement, through ambitious climate action, in particular through reducing emissions while stimulating innovation, enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening and financing resilience and reducing vulnerability, as well as ensuring a just transition, including increasing efforts to mobilize climate finance from a wide variety of sources.”
All the leaders, except U.S.A, committed to reduce air and water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions to reach a global carbon-neutral economy during the second half of the century. However, the Trump administration was in favour of the promotion of fossil fuels when it went on to state that “the United States will endeavour to work closely with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently. The United States believes in the key role of energy transitions through the development of market-based clean energy technologies and the importance of technology collaboration and innovation to continue advancing economic growth and protect the environment as part of sustainable, resilient and clean energy systems.”
So what happens now? Can the G6 nations address climate change without the US?
Let’s hope so, especially given troubling news this week from Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe whose latest report shows national contributions made by EU member states are “nowhere close enough” to limit the global rise in temperatures to “well below 2°C” and close to 1.5°C, the main objective of the Paris Agreement. And it doesn’t get any better with the CAN report also stating that “unfortunately, most countries that advocate for more ambitious policies for the future are currently lagging behind in achieving targets for 2020 and reducing carbon emissions.”
In an era that demands radical, urgent action for climate change by government leaders, the G6 leaders’ response to what happened this month’s Summit could, without sounding like hyperbole, actually mark a major turning point in history, as well as a hopeful development for the climate provided that action is taken and policies for climate change are addressed. In the wake of the G7 Summit and at a time of considerable political and social fluidity, it is vital the G6 countries now collaborate more closely than ever to meet the 2050 emission reduction targets, as destabilising any of the remaining G6 ‘anchors’ represents a risk to the system as a whole.
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