G7 leaders agree to strive for low-carbon economy
Group of Seven leaders agreed on Monday to wean their economies off carbon fuels and supported a global goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but they stopped short of agreeing their own immediate binding targets.
In a communique issued after their two-day summit in Bavaria, the G7 leaders said they backed reducing global greenhouse gas emissions at the upper end of a range of 40 to 70 percent by 2050, using 2010 as a basis. The range was recommended by the IPCC, the United Nations’ climate-change panel.
They also backed a global target for limiting the rise in average global temperatures to two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) compared with pre-industrial levels.
“We commit to doing our part to achieve a low-carbon global economy in the long-term, including developing and deploying innovative technologies striving for a transformation of the energy sectors by 2050, and invite all countries to join us in this endeavour,” the communique read.
G7 host Angela Merkel of Germany, once dubbed the “climate chancellor,” hoped to revitalize her green credentials by getting the G7 nations to agree specific emissions goals ahead of a larger year-end United Nations climate meeting in Paris.
The leaders stopped short of agreeing any such immediate binding targets for their economies. Green lobby groups nonetheless welcomed the direction of their agreements.
“They’ve given important political signals, but they could have done more, particularly by making concrete national commitments for immediate action,” said Sam Smith, leader of the WWF Global Climate and Energy Initiative. “We had hoped for more commitments on what they would do right now.”
The Europeans had pressed their G7 partners to sign up to legally binding targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.