G7 Summit: climate pledges but no binding decisions to rapidly cut emissions

Biarritz, France, August 26, 2019 – The G7 Summit in France has reaffirmed the widening gulf between those demanding urgent climate action and the lack of real progress from the world’s largest economies.

Less than a month before the UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit in New York, the G6 leaders of the G7 reiterated “their will” to increase their climate ambition, without providing specifics on how they will act with the urgency demanded of them by the climate emergency.

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Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan said.

“We need more than words to tackle the climate emergency. A standard summit resolve reaffirming the need for action is meaningless and divorced from reality unless converted into action on the ground to rapidly achieve net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest. G7 leaders must bring real world policies to the UN Climate Action Summit next month and ramp up their climate targets in line with 1.5C.”

During the Summit, G7 leaders also agreed on an international financial and logistical assistance package to help combat the Amazon forest fires.

“While we welcome these immediate measures, future assistance should include commitments from Brazil President Bolsonaro to reduce deforestation. The fires that are devastating the Amazon are also destroying Brazil’s image internationally. G7 leaders must not use the Amazon fires to disguise their own failures to act at home, but they also need to make clear to President Bolsonaro that reckless destruction of the Earth’s lungs will not be tolerated,” Morgan added.

“In addition to today’s agreed support, G7 countries must stop fueling the destruction of the Amazon through the import of agricultural products associated with deforestation and soil degradation. Sweeping change to the global food system is needed, including a 50% cut in meat and dairy consumption by 2050 and rich countries such as the G7 should reduce that even further.”

In response to discussions over the EU-Mercosur trade deal, Greenpeace Germany trade policy advisor Juergen Knirsch said:

“Any trade deal must ensure that it is not further accelerating the climate crisis and the loss of biodiversity. The EU-Mercosur deal should be suspended until the Amazon, and the Chaco Forests and Cerado are  protected and the world can be ensured that the deal includes strong enforceable measures to comply with the Paris Climate Agreement, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This is a climate and biodiversity emergency demanding urgent action that meets the scale of the challenge.”

On the role of French President Macron at this year’s Summit, Greenpeace France Executive Director Jean-François Julliard said:

“Emmanuel Macron must review his diplomatic approach to climate issues. Staging anecdotal initiatives in the form of coalitions devoid of content only diverts discussion from the real issues: commitment of Governments to GHG reduction targets, the end of fossil fuels and transition funding for vulnerable countries. In this respect, the outcomes of the G7 Summit are far too lean. Macron also missed an opportunity to announce bold policies at the domestic level, where France lags behind all its climate goals. Yet it is this widening gap between claims and deeds that is now impeding climate diplomacy progress.”

www.greenpeace.org/international