G7 Leaders to join efforts on Paris Agreement implementation and fossil fuel subsidies removal

The members of the Group of Seven (G7) met in Ise-Shima (Japan) on 26 and 27 May  2016 to address major global economic and political challenges. Among the issues under debate there were top-priority international concerns including global growth, terrorism, migrations, trade, gender, health, corruption but also climate change and energy.


The Leaders’ Declaration, released at the end of the meeting, affirms that the seven countries will further make efforts to implement commitments undertaken in New York and Paris and therefore to address the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the new climate change Agreement respectively.

More specifically, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK and US, plus the European Union, renewed their commitments to play a leadership role and to take the necessary steps to secure ratification, acceptance and approval of the Paris agreement as soon as possible. They also call on all other UNFCCC Parties to do the same, pushing for an early entry into force in 2016. To this purpose, they will continue to support the Paris Agreement objectives, starting from the early implementation of their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) in an ambitious, transparent and robust manner. Also finance commitments will be honoured, through the mobilization of increased monetary flows from public and private sources. In welcoming recent commitments announced by Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and financial institutions, the leaders from the Group of Seven call on them to make every effort to mainstream climate change actions across development strategies also involving the private sector and other partners.

Innovation is recognized as critical for an effective, long-term global response as well are the incentives for emission reduction activities, including tools such as domestic policies and carbon pricing.

In this regard, the seven major economies put on the table two important commitments for the near- and long-term future.

  • First, they crucially recognize the urgent need to address emissions from international aviation and committed to work together for the adoption of a Global Market-Based Measure (GMBM) with the objective to enable carbon neutral growth from 2020, and to reach a decision at the next assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to be held from September 27 to October  7, 2016.
  • Second, by recognizing the crucial role of energy in the decarbonisation of the economy, they affirm to remain committed to the elimination of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies and encourage all countries to do so by 2025.

This last point had been particularly welcomed from the green groups claiming that a deadline has been finally defined by the world’s leaders.

Just a few days before the meeting started, new and “extremely robust” estimates about the size of fossil fuels subsides had been released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF): global post-tax subsidies are increasing and in 2015 are estimated to $5.3 trillion, equivalent to 6.5 percent of global GDP. Breaking down these figures,  coal results the biggest source, accounting for 3.9 percent of GDP  in 2015. If perverse subsidies are removed the CO2 reduction would be more than 20 percent, the IMF continues, and even larger would be the reduction of air pollution deaths (55 percent less than current level).

FF_subsidies

Source: IMF, 2016

Continuing on energy, the seven leaders pledged to accelerate their work towards the transition to decarbonized energy system and to enhance efforts on energy efficiency and use of clean and renewable energy. Recalling the Fukushima disaster, they ask to all countries that use nuclear power to ensure the highest standards of safety but also engage the public and policy-makers in science-based and transparent dialogue.  In this connection they also highlighted the role of an efficient use of resources as underlined by the 2030 Agenda, which encourages them deepen efforts on resource efficiency and the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) with the aim of also fostering innovation, competitiveness, economic growth and job creation.

(Photo: G7 Working Lunch, May 26, 2016. Source: Official Website of G7 JAPAN 2016 Ise-Shima)