May 22, 2017 – The Elders have written to Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni to express support for his country’s leadership on climate issues as President of the G7 group of industrialised countries. They urged him to push for solidarity and unity at the upcoming G7 Summit in support of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Recognising the leadership the Italian Presidency is giving to reaffirm commitment to the Paris Agreement, the 1.5˚C temperature goal and accelerated decarbonisation, The Elders welcomed Prime Minister Gentiloni’s efforts to “mobilise the collective leadership of the G7 to deepen their commitment to climate action.”
The Elders noted that the G7 has played a “pivotal role” in driving forward ambitious climate action following the 2015 Paris Agreement and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
“Continued collective action and global solidarity are now needed to implement these accords and the G7 must be at the forefront… no country alone can protect itself,” they said.
Specifically, the Elders called on the Italian G7 Presidency to push leaders to agree on five key actions at the G7 summit that takes place on 26-27 May in Taormina, Sicily:
- Reaffirm their collective commitment to the Paris Agreement and accelerated action on implementation;
- Lead by example by implementing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and increase the ambition of this commitment by 2020;
- Support the leadership of climate vulnerable countries who need financial and technical support to implement their NDCs;
- Ensure that all investments of public finance, domestically or internationally, support low carbon, climate-resilient development;
- Ensure that existing commitments of climate finance, including US$100 billion per year by 2020, are dispersed with urgency and used to leverage additional resources.
“Future generations will look back on this time of great opportunity and great uncertainty and judge the actions and leadership of the G7,” the Elders said.
The Elders are Martti Ahtisaari, Kofi Annan (Chair), Lakhdar Brahimi, Gro Harlem Brundtland (Deputy Chair), Hina Jilani, Ricardo Lagos, Graça Machel, Mary Robinson and Ernesto Zedillo.
Ela Bhatt, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu are Elders Emeritus.