G7 climate promises must be turned into action
World leaders made some progress in tackling climate change in key areas last week at their G7 meeting in Cornwall last week.
But more details on plans to promote a green industrial revolution and action on delivering finance pledges to developing countries are needed before the vital climate summit in Glasgow in November, said Midlands energy expert Ron Fox.
He said there were two major successes from the three-day meeting in Carbis Bay, St Ives, attended by leaders from UK, France, Germany, Canada, Italy, Japan and the USA, plus the European Union, which is not a member but is usually invited.
Firstly, to move away from coal power which includes a plan to phase out coal burning unless it includes carbon capture technology. The G7 will end the funding of new sites in developing countries and offer them up to £2bn a year to stop using the fuel.
This move will put pressure on Germany and Japan, believed to be the world’s second largest coal supporter, to cut back on the dirtiest major fuel which drove the industrial revolution and sent emissions soaring. It will hopefully encourage China, the world’s biggest user of coal, also to follow suit.
Secondly, the G7 committed to a “green revolution” that would limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5C and promised to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, halve emissions by 2030 and to conserve or protect large parts of land and ocean by 2030, plus helping poorer countries to achieve this.
To help poorer countries fight climate change the G7 promised “to jointly mobilise $100bn (£72bn) a year from public and private sources through to 2025.”
Although the earth’s average temperature is about 15C (59F), scientists say temperatures are now rising faster than at many other times, partly due to the greenhouse effect, which describes how the earth’s atmosphere traps some of the sun’s energy. A report by the UN climate panel in 2018 said the impact of climate change would be far more severe if the rise was greater than 1.5C.
“Although the G7 made good progress on fighting climate change, they have to ensure they turn their words into action,” said Ron, of Noreus Ltd on the University of Keele Science and Innovation Park in North Staffordshire.
“We have to remember that in 2009 developed countries promised to contribute $100bn (£72bn) a year in climate finance to poorer countries by 2020, but this was not met, partly because of the Covid pandemic.
“So, to make a success of the vital climate summit known as COP26, which the UK is hosting in Glasgow this November, other countries will need to see their rich counterparts putting their finance where their words are,” added Ron.
“I agree with the British broadcaster Sir David Attenborough who sent a video message on the Sunday of the conference telling the G7 leaders their decisions were the most important in human history.”
For more information on green energy and cutting the carbon footprint, call Ron on 0845 474 6641.
Caption: Beautiful setting – World leaders discussed climate change at their three-day conference in Carbis Bay, St Ives, Cornwall, last week.