G7 as the subgroup of the G20 has taken important steps towards more climate action and enhanced international climate finance.
The final communiqué of the G7 heads of state and government of June 13, 2021 provides positive signals on climate protection and biodiversity and is comprehensive in scope. Main industrialised countries build further momentum with their clear commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, affirming the 1.5-degree limit and taking responsibility for the decarbonisation of the electricity sector in the 2030s. Canada had already announced in the run-up to the summit that it would refrain from expanding its own coal mines. Indeed, the phase-out of coal is accelerating.
Becoming Part of the Solution. F20 Recommendations 2021 for the G20 and the G7 as part of the G20
During the summit, chancellor Angela Merkel promised to increase Germany’s contribution to international climate finance from 4 to 6 billion euros per year. This pledge sends an important signal to many other countries and demonstrates the significance of multilateralism and international solidarity. However, the countries of the global South, which are severely threatened by the climate crisis, need far more support to overcome the present challenges than what has been pledged so far by the industrialised nations. The actual fiscal need has to be immediately determined without delay in order to comply with the 1.5 degree limit, to be able to adapt to the consequences and to cope with loss and damage.
In addition, the major infrastructure initiative agreed in the G7 declaration aims at providing developing countries with support in a sustainable recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic, which is aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement. In order to avoid, that millions of people falling into poverty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, large investments are needed. The infrastructure initiative makes it possible to achieve economic recovery through green investments.
Equally, this year represents a turning point with the G7 acknowledging the close nexus between climate and biodiversity and the aim to achieve a resilient, sustainable and greener transition. Indeed, the 1.5°C limit would be completely unrealistic without taking biodiversity into account. The same is true for concrete actions to shape a post-COVID world – rebooting domestic economies and strengthening their resilience should not be at the expense of biodiversity.
With regard to the upcoming biodiversity summit in Kunming and COP26 in Glasgow this year, the G7 must live up to its role as a subgroup of the G20 and accelerate efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change in line with the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda. The G7 decisions can serve as an important initiative for major emerging economies in the context of the G20 including China, India, and South Africa. It will be interesting to see how the outcomes of the G7 summit will now serve as an inspiration in the context of the G20 process under the Italian presidency and in the direction of the conference in Kunming on biodiversity in October and the climate conference in Glasgow in November.
On a general note, it has to be mentioned, that more transformative cooperation and a constructive dialogue are needed among all G20 states – not only among the subgroup of the G7.
The international platform of foundations F20 will continue advocating for this.
Klaus Milke, Chair of Foundations 20 and Stefan Schurig, F20 General Secretary