The G7 Summit Decisions made and the subsequent responses.

The G7 Summit decisions have been reached and the event has concluded, after a sunny weekend in Carbis Bay, Cornwall. World leaders came to the UK in order to participate in the summit and discuss the delivery of a strong economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic and a heavier emphasis on the fight against climate change.

The leaders present at the summit were:

  • Boris Johnson – United Kingdom
  • Justin Trudeau – Canada
  • Angela Merkel – Germany
  • Emmanuel Marcon – France
  • Mario Draghi – Italy
  • Yoshihide Suga – Japan
  • Joseph Biden – USA
  • Ursual von der Leyen – European Union Commission
  • Charles Michel – European Union Council

Amidst the sun and sand was also a group of hundreds of climate activists demanding significant climate action from the leaders. Within the final communique the leaders outlined their investment in the fight against the climate crisis and issued a promise to phase out coal completely. However, the activists were left unhappy as they believed that the communications and pledges did little to iron out the more important details.

Now, let’s get into the G7 summit decisions.

 

The promises and pledges of the G7 summit decisions:

$100bn investment in climate funds.

In the G7 summit discussions, the only leaders that agreed upon raising the amount of funding from their current levels were the United Kingdom and the United States. France were aiming to continue the current levels of climate finance commitment.

It was detailed in the summit exactly where the leaders would source their investments from, with the ministers explaining that the funds would be coming from:

  • Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs)
  • Bilateral Development Finance Institutions (DFIs)
  • Multilateral funds
  • Public banks
  • Export credit agencies

The ministers also stressed that they will be using these sources in order to “ensure that financial flows from these institutions are aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement”.

Later on in the G7 summit decisions, Canada and Germany made their announcements that they would be increasing their funding. Officially, Canada will be spending £4.4bn over the next five years with Germany contributing €6bn annually through to 2025.

 

Net Zero

The G7 summit decisions continued as the leaders discussed Net Zero. The ministers had actually already confirmed that their electricity sectors should be Net Zero by the 2030’s, in virtual even in May, but made their plans concrete in this years summit.

Along with this Net Zero commitment the countries will phase coal out by ending all new thermal coal generation capacity that is not paired with carbon capture technology. All other ‘inefficient’ fossil fuel subsidies will be completely phased out from all countries by 2025.The countries will also make a dedication to stop direct funding of fossil fuels in all nations under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. 

Despite existing pledges to completely end coal generation before 2030 from members of the summit, Japan’s agreement will come as a massive surprise to most readers. If you do not know, Japan heavily relies on coal in their current energy mix, with 30% of their generation coming from coal in the 2019-2020 financial year.

 

Roadmaps to Net Zero

Another part of the G7 summit decisions considered roadmaps for transitions to Net Zero. Dedicated strategies for Net Zero roadmaps have been subjects of recent scrutiny and criticism as many climate experts, scientists and activists. The main consensus is that the roadmaps are not specific enough or that they do not go into adequate detail.

In response to this criticism, a dedicated roadmap is expected to be released by the UK government prior to the COP26 climate summit. Members of the Group of Seven have also agreed to publish strategies that will outline how global net zero transitions can be achieved.

The nitty gritty details of Net Zero roadmaps are now focused more on the national governments of the G7 leaders. In this way, when the COP26 event comes around in November negotiations and discussions will be more straightforward and efficient.

 

Protecting the natural world

As expected, the G7 summit decisions also considered our environment, discussing more significant measures to conserve and protect it. Despite a pretty poor track record of successful nature targets, the leaders of the summit seem to have their eyes set firmly on making these leaps toward environmental protection. After all, climate action and environmental conservation and protection go hand in hand.

With their attention pointed firmly at the environment it will come as bit of hopeful news that the G7 leaders have agreed to the G7 Nature Compact. The compact has links to major biodiversity works and focuses on the target of 30% of global land conservation and at least 30% of the global ocean by the end of this decade.

The leaders also expressed their interest in nature based solutions to aid environmental conservation and acknowledged their significance and benefits. However, the precedent will be the decarbonisation of the electricity grid and efforts toward reaching Net Zero in order the mitigate the climate crisis.

 

The disagreed and undetermined of the G7 summit decisions:

Transport

Unfortunately, we can’t have it all, some of the G7 summit decisions were shot down or at least remain uncertain after the conclusion of the event. One of these decisions was the transport industry and subsequent methods to reduce the emissions produced by the sector. Talks are potentially more disrupted than ever and actions toward a net zero transport sector are more undefined.

One thing that came out of the summit was the stressed importance of finding solutions for transport related emissions. With pledges to support development and enhance alternative methods of transport. However, their were no concrete targets or more specific goals.

As an example, John Holland-Kaye  chief executive of Heathrow wanted the definitive targets of 10% sustainable aviation fuel blends by 2030, with an increase to at least 50% by 2050. As none of these targets were considered it goes without saying that members of the aviation industry were left disappointed.

 

Green technology

Despite bringing up a need for green tech innovation, the summit leaders failed to bring any real concrete plans or details on the infrastructure and plans for developing green technology. After discussing the importance of technology like carbon capture, fuel switching and storage the leaders failed to outline any funding that could be spent on green innovative tech.

Although no funding was agreed upon and further action was not announced, the Group of Seven did reaffirm the commitment to the second stage of the Mission Innovation. Members of Mission Innovation are committed to providing “affordable and attractive clean energy, accessible to all in this decade”.

One of the main outcomes from this part of the G7 summit decisions was that announcements for green innovative tech is exepcted to come from individual nations and not from committees or organisations like G7. Countries that are currently leading the world in certain areas of green tech may be expected to promote and sell their innovations.

 

Building back greener

Each of the countries in the G7 have been drastically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. So, the topic of a green recovery was highly anticipated. The pandemic has shown the world the need for a true green recovery and that the transition can start now rather than later.

Those who were keeping a close eye on the summit expected the wealthy nations to champion green recoveries and show how economies and societies can prosper alongside a green transition. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

The closest we came to hearing anything about green innovation was more support for the sustainable development goals, but no new plans or support was issued.

 

Backing up building back greener

The leaders did agree on a new ‘Build Back Better for the World’ scheme, which aims at providing a large amount of funding into green, carbon neutral infrastructure, globally.

Much like the previous G7 summit decisions the ‘Build Back Better for the World’ scheme does not have a solid structure and has not been given any more detail other than it will be mainly focused on investing in green infrastructure.

The UK government has claimed that the scheme will have key details and points outlined prior to the COP26. They also reiterated that one of the key focuses of the scheme will be to invest in the deployment of green infrastructure in developing countries.

 

Well, that’s the long and short of it. We hope this helped narrow down some of the G7 summit decisions made last weekend.

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