Will the G7 Walk the Climate Talk?

2015 is a crucial year for climate change resilience. In December, the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) is going to take place in Paris. For the sake...

2015 is a crucial year for climate change resilience. In December, the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) is going to take place in Paris. For the sake of our future and the world’s, it will be necessary to reach an enforceable international agreement on the restraint of CO2 emissions to further 1000 Gt (gigatonnes of carbon dioxide) by 2050 to keep global warming below 2°C. Given that we are allowing some warming, the legally binding CO2 emission-reduction legislation must include a financing mechanism in place to help underdeveloped countries implement adaptations measures to a changing climate. Climate change is a global issue that threatens not only the environment where we live, but also our global security and economic prosperity whilst it deepens inequality issues . Therefore, it is important that small and big players join forces to scale up climate response.

Nevertheless, some of the largest economies –recognized as the G7 group- are responsible for 59% of historic global carbon dioxide emissions and 30% of current global emissions. Hence there are high expectations for how the “world leaders” address climate action. On June, the leaders of Canada, Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy, Japan and United States (the G7 members) had their annual summit in Bonn. They pledged to phase out all fossil fuels worldwide. Also, they committed to provide climate risk insurance for vulnerable communities. But, how would this be implemented? Would they keep their previous promise of £100 billion in climate finance by 2020?

To answer this questions is important to look at the G7 submittedIntended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC). The INDC  are the countries’ pledges that state the rate of action to tackle climate change after 2020. Climate Action Tracker have been assessing the submitted INDCs and rating them as inadequate, medium and sufficient taking into consideration the countries’ emission reduction potential, their effort sharing (“fair” contribution to GHG emissions reductions) and the decarbonization needed to maintain the warming below 2°C. The Climate Action Tracker team rated Bhutan INDC as “role model” since it set the goal of remaining carbon neutral, which is both feasible –given that current sequestration rates don’t decline over time- and more ambitious than what is considered to be fair.

The G7 target is to reduce 40-70% emissions by 2050. The European Union (EU), which includes France, Germany, Italy and the UK, plans to reduce 40% below 1990 levels in 2025. The EU was rated as “medium” since it lacks transparency of the targeted sectors for offsetting. The United States INDC was rated as “medium” too, because of the feasibility of their target to reduce 26-28% emissions of 2005 levels but it will need further stringent reductions to be on the 2°C pathway accounting for their historic responsibility. Japan and Canada were the lowest scores in the group. The Canada INDC proposes a reduction of 30% emissions from 2005 levels in 2025; it was rated as “inadequate” because this country will need at least a reduction of 73% of 2005 levels. Japan is still preparing its 2030 targets for its INDC but the Climate Action Tracker team determined that the expected reduction targets of 20% below 2013 levels by 2030 are “inadequate” because of lacking ambition and the team adds “if all countries adopted this level of ambition, warming would likely exceed 3-4oC in the 21st century”. The G7 decarbonization goal is ambitious and sends a clear message of the importance of low-carbon economies and the toll fossil fuels is taking on the planet, but by now we need more.

Sum your voice to the #CALL4CLIMATE action to ask the world leader to show climate leadership. Infographic Below.

 

 

G7_INDC_Bonn

 

Categories
Environment
Isatis Cintron

Puertorican Isatis Cintron is a climate activist researching climate social impacts and atmospheric chemistry for a PhD at Rutgers University. The focus of her research is on socio-economical impacts of climate change and mitigation strategies from a chemical perspective. She has work as the coordinator of the Latin Climate Action Network in Puerto Rico, empowering communities on multi-sectorial climate resilience for a sustainable future through innovative outreach campaigns. Also has collaborated with several environmental NGOs in PR. Now she is part of the Climate Tracker movement to raise awareness of climate change policy efforts through journalism.
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