25 May 2016
The 2015 G7 saw Angela Merkel use it as an opportunity to emphasise the need for climate action, and as a way to keep G7 leaders engaged in the run up to Paris.
Now it is time for Japan to take the lead and galvanise the other G7 countries. However, it seems that they don’t have the same fervour as the previous hosts. The Japanese seem to have been fairly lacklustre in their attempts to make climate change a core component of the agenda. But never fear, ECO is here with some helpful suggestions about how our dear leaders can help the Japanese deliver.
We need the G7 to up the ante on the mid-century plans. It’s great that the US and Canada have promised to get going this year with Germany to follow suit. There are promising signs from France and China. Whilst this enthusiasm bodes well, the proof is in the pudding. We need major emitters to develop their low-carbon plans before the 2018 stocktake to inform the upgrading of (I)NDCs. The G7 should move first, and ensure these plans are finalised well before 2018. They need to lay out clear pathways to deliver both their climate and development objectives to drive and guide investment. If done well, the 2050 plans, called for in the Paris Agreement, offer an excellent opportunity to engage citizens and business in this visioning exercise, sowing the seeds for a much deeper and wider appetite for transformative ambition.
In 2015, the G7 announced support for specific initiatives that ECO is very excited about, the Africa Renewables Initiative and the Initiative on Climate Risk Insurance. ECO strongly encourages the G7 to deliver scaled up support to ensure that these initiatives are fully funded and able to meet the needs of communities. And let’s not forget the G7 promise to deliver the $100bn by 2020. They need to scale up finance in line with this promise.
Japan can use its G7 Presidency to signal its reemergence as a progressive force on climate change by outlining proactive collaboration on key elements of the international agenda. And wouldn’t it be great if Japan and other G7 countries used this meeting to announce their ratification of the Paris Agreement?