Stripping the planet’s energy systems and economies of carbon received arguably more heat than light as a priority from heads of the world’s richest economies under three days of Cornish sunshine.
Pledges in the G7’s concluding communiqué yesterday include a $100 billion fund enabling poorer nations to decarbonise their economies. Aid organisations quickly responded that this fund is a long-standing, repeated but unfulfilled promise. One estimates that current G7 commitments would deliver only $36 bn of assistance by 2025, less than $10bn of it supporting initiatives in climate adaptation.
“This G7 summit will live on in infamy2, said Max Lawson, Oxfam’s head of inequality policy. “Faced with …. a climate catastrophe that is destroying our planet, [the G7] have completely failed to meet the challenges of our times.
“Never in the history of the G7 has there been a bigger gap between their actions and the needs of the world. In the face of these challenges the G7 have chosen to …..continue to cook the planet”.
The leaders ‘encourage’ corporations to join the UN’s Race to Zero initiative, and to set science-based targets (SBT)s driving their operations to cut emissions. Last week corporate ecologists CDP highlighted how no stock index in the G7 nations, the world’s wealthiest, is adequately aligned with SBTs. Even best-performing Germany has an industrial sector currently on track to heat the globe by 2.2 degrees before 2100.
What the communiqué calls ‘inefficient’ energy subsidies – a term forever open to interpretation – must be phased out as early as 2025.
Without viable CCS (carbon capture and storage) kit built next to new coal-fired power stations, governments worldwide must cease before next year approving or funding the technology, the G7 agreed.
Heads of governments allied themselves to targets in the IEA’s declaration made last month, focused on adopting ‘a technology-driven transition to net-zero, supported by relevant policies”. The leaders commit their economies to halving 2010-level emissions by 2030, following a descent path to net-zero by 2050 at the latest.
Emmets or pastie masters? That’s Kernow we do it!
Sales of new petrol or diesel vehicles must cease globally by 2035. Britain’s deadline is 2030.
On the built environment, G7 leaders recognise a “need for urgent step-change in the deployment of renewable heating & cooling and a reduction in energy demand”.
For buildings, the most substantial target is a commitment to the UN Super-Efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment (SEAD) initiative’s goal of doubling the efficiency by 2030 of globally sold systems in lighting, cooling, refrigeration and motors. The Johnson government’s own heat & buildings strategy is rumoured for release later this summer.
Philip Dunne MP, chair of Parliament’s Environmental Audit committee, reacted positively. “The commitments made …are warmly welcomed, representing a positive move from the leading industrialised nations ahead of COP26.
“Agreeing to accelerate the move away from coal has given a powerful signal that the fossil fuel monopoly is reaching its day of reckoning. But we must support other countries in the low carbon transition. The UK’s strengths in renewable energy – such as offshore wind – offer a unique opportunity to export knowledge: I hope this is championed long after this year of climate leadership”.
“Our committee will shortly be publishing a report on biodiversity and ecosystems, and we welcome the commitment to spend more on protecting nature”.