June 4, 2018
The climate and energy working group of the G7 global task force is a broad coalition of over 40 civil society organizations from G7 countries and around the world that has come together to deliver expectations from civil society as the world’s wealthiest industrialized nations meet June 8-9 for the G7 Head of States Summit and G7 Energy, Environment, and Oceans Ministers prepare to meet in the fall. In this document we outline priority areas for the G7 on how they will respond to the global threats associated with climate change, create sustainable economic and social opportunities to reduce inequalities, and promote the inclusive empowerment of women and girls around the world.
This Summit must also highlight the contribution of Indigenous peoples in the creation of policies that will lead us to a more sustainable world. Action should be taken with an urgency commensurate with the knowledge that climate change is the biggest public health threat of our time – and that tackling climate change may be our greatest health opportunity.
2018 will be a crucial year for the global community to demonstrate its determination to limit the increase in global temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and step-up efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C. The G7 must send the right signals in order to anchor the implementation of the Paris Agreement and to ensure the integration of economic, social, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development with the aim of achieving decarbonization of the global economy by 2050 while leaving no one behind and creating the right opportunities for all people around the globe.
Reaffirming the momentum of the Paris Agreement and stepping up climate ambition
The G7 must fully commit to the swift implementation of the Paris Agreement in line with its long term goals to limit average temperature increase to well below 2 degrees and to pursue efforts to limit temperature increase to 1.5 degrees. This means supporting the completion the Paris Work Programme at COP24, welcoming the Talanoa Dialogue, supporting the inclusion of non-state actors, and committing to accelerate the transformation of the energy sector in an inclusive way, supporting gender-balanced, youth-oriented, Indigenous-led approaches, and harnessing the economic and health benefits of clean technology and energy efficiency.
Acknowledging the UNEP Emissions Gap Report, the G7 must recognize the urgency of increasing efforts to close the emission gap and to deliver long-term strategies, and of supporting the poorest and most vulnerable, with a specific focus on women and girls and Indigenous communities as they adapt to the impacts of climate change. G7 leaders should welcome with appreciation the publication of the IPCC Special Report on 1.5 Degrees and welcome the progress of other IPCC Reports on Oceans and Lands to be released in 2019.
Providing sustainable finance
The G7 leader must reaffirm their commitment to mobilize USD $100 billion from public and private sources by 2020 and replenish the Green Climate Fund to ensure the implementation of the Paris Agreement, aiming to achieve a balance between mitigation and adaptation financing, with a specific focus on gender-related adaptation finance.
To work progressively towards the shifting of global financial flows, and to support enabling environments and financial tools to accelerate private finance flows, the G7 must call upon Multilateral Development Banks and other financial institutions to increase sustainable investments that promote resilience and are aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement. The G7 must urge MDBs to work collectively towards a joint climate action plan, to integrate climate-related scenarios in their long-term planning and asset allocation decisions, and urge MDBs and the private sector to improve transparency in the report of climate-related investments.
The G7 must ensure gender mainstreaming within current insurance mechanisms that aim to address extreme weather events, and commit to engaging proactively with countries and communities taking advantage of these mechanisms, developing capacity-building programmes to ensure greater understanding and transparency of these tools. G7 countries must recognize the particular need of support for Small Island Development States and Least Developed Countries, and acknowledge that insurance alone will not be sufficient to respond to climate change impacts and slow onset climate-related events and that new and innovative instruments are essential to ensure financial support.
Addressing climate change impacts on oceans and building resilience in coastal communities
The G7 must note with concern the climate change alteration to the physical, chemical and biological properties of our oceans and the increase of risks and irreversible shifts induced by further warming of the oceans by 1°C or 2°C, including ocean acidification due to increased concentrations of carbon dioxide. The G7 must acknowledge human dependence on marine ecosystem services and the risk of losing marine and coastal ecosystems, biodiversity, and the ecosystem services provided by our oceans in the Arctic and tropical regions.
The G7 must recognize the need for immediate global action on oceans and the creation of international frameworks based on existing work from, though not exclusive to, bodies such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, UN-Oceans, the Arctic Council and the IMO. The G7 must ensure climate reduction targets are directly linked to global action on oceans, and the protection of the Arctic.
Canada should encourage G7 countries to continue the exchange of experiences, as a way to enhance domestic action, science, and communication, and promote immediate action to slow the rate of near-term warming globally, in sensitive regions such as the Arctic, by cutting emissions of short-lived climate pollutants like black carbon.
The G7 must recognize the particular need of Small Island Development States, coastal communities around the world to adapt to the impacts of climate change, specifically the need for support of investments in sustainable infrastructure.
The G7 must acknowledge with appreciation the upcoming release of the IPCC Special Report on the Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate by 2019 and encourage participation of Indigenous communities to provide input.
Phasing out subsidies to fossil fuels
The G7 must ensure the efficacy of sustainable investments by discontinuing unsustainable investments. Following their commitment to phase out fossil fuel subsidies by 2025, G7 countries must now present a detailed roadmap on how G7 members intend to meet this commitment and accelerate phase-out timelines. It is incumbent upon Canada to lead by example and agree to a peer review of its fossil fuel subsidies under the G20 process. The G7 must recognize the need for the fossil fuel industry to contribute to efforts of global decarbonization by all industries. We encourage the exchange of experiences from G7 countries and a concrete follow-up between Canada and France to secure outcomes on this in the coming year.
Making a Just Transition towards a decarbonized world
The G7 countries must work toward a progressive shift to a low-carbon energy sector by 2050, based on principles of a just transition for workers, communities, and Indigenous Peoples around the world. We encourage the G7 to set an ambitious just transition agenda to be followed by France in 2019. Canada has a powerful opportunity to pull together the threads of just transition and mounting climate action in 2018.
Fostering circular economy solutions to plastic and marine litter, and making the connection between climate change and plastics pollution
Recognizing the work of the G7 Action Plan to Combat Marine Litter, the G7 must reaffirm their commitment to combat marine litter, plastic litter, and microplastic. A plastic charter should aim toward the global goal of eliminating the discharge of plastic litter and microplastic. The charter must be ambitious, legally binding, and coherent with other international initiatives. It must link climate change impacts to combating marine litter: reducing plastic must not encourage consumption of other fossil fuels.
The G7 must recognize the role of communities in fighting marine litter and acknowledge the need to enhance support to those communities by building waste management capacity, using circular economy strategies, recycling and removing debris as a way to reduce ecological and climate impacts from plastic.
Getting rid of coal and short-lived climate pollutants
Acknowledging the accelerated climate impacts of coal use and short-lived climate pollutants like hydrofluorocarbons, the G7 presidency should encourage members to join the Powering Past Coal Alliance, implement the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, and form partnerships with health-focused organizations to calculate and communicate the illness, lives, and healthcare dollars saved via reductions in air pollution and mercury associated with coal and SLCP phase-out, as well as further work to create the necessary political will and the market signals for coal and SLCP phase-out in a sustainable and economically inclusive manner.
Photo: Nhattan Nguyen