G7 Summit Agrees on 2050 Global Climate Reduction Goal and Decarbonisation over Course of the Century

The leaders of the G7 countries who met for a summit at Schloss Elmau in Germany agreed on a global climate reduction goal for 2050 in preparation of the Climate Change Conference in December in Paris this year (COP21) and stressed the need to come to a to decarbonisation of the global economy over the course of the century.

On climate change, the “Leaders’ Declaration” of the G7 leaders says

“We affirm our strong determination to adopt at the Climate Change Conference in December in Paris this year (COP21) a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) applicable to all parties that is ambitious, robust, inclusive and reflects evolving national circumstances.”

The declaration confirmed the aim to effectively limits the global average temperature below 2 °C (above pre-industrial levels). To this end G7 leaders

  • “… emphasize that deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions are required with a decarbonisation of the global economy over the course of this century”;
  •  “… support sharing with all parties to the UNFCCC the upper end of the latest IPCC recommendation of 40 to 70% reductions by 2050 compared to 2010 recognizing that this challenge can only be met by a global response”;
  • commit to doing their part “to achieve a low-carbon global economy in the long-term including developing and deploying innovative technologies striving for a transformation of the energy sectors by 2050” and invite all countries to join them in this endeavor;
  • “… also commit to develop long term national low-carbon strategies;
  • reaffirm their “strong commitment to the Copenhagen Accord to mobilizing jointly USD 100 billion a year by 2020 from a wide variety of sources, both public and private in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation.

Concerning decarbonisation, a text by the German government following a press conference by Chancellor Angela Merkel, who hosted the summit, says “In effect that means bidding dirty fossil fuels such as coal farewell”. This seems to underpin a recent (legally questionable) initiative in Germany to introduce a climate levy for conventional power plants.

However, it should be kept in mind that a G7 summit is a political summit, without any law making power whatsoever. Therefore, it remains to be seen if and to what extent political G7 declarations can and will make it into legally binding agreements going forward.

Source: Leaders’ Declarationwww.g7germany.de

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