When he founded his club, the G-7 countries would hardly doubt that they would one day tackle the topic: cycling. In the final announcement you can find the bike in the middle on page 15, coincidentally with the tread – in a section about future mobility. After all, climate change demands dramatically higher speeds in the decarbonization of transport. However, the G7 is unclear about the exact goals and timetable. One is committed to “sustainable, carbon-free mobility,” it says simply. How long is it open?
The final subtleties of the text were negotiated until the end, but this did not make it any more concrete, longer than most. The most obvious is the commitment to raise US$100 billion annually for climate protection, and that too by 2025. This commitment is also important to host Boris Johnson in two ways. In November, Great Britain will host the climate summit which was postponed since last year. In the Scottish city of Glasgow, in “Cop 26”, not only should international climate protection take momentum. London also wants to use this opportunity to prove that it continues to play an active role in world politics despite Brexit. The role of money should not be underestimated. Development banks should also raise more money for climate protection.
In early 2009, at the otherwise disastrous climate conference in Copenhagen, industrialized countries agreed on billions for a climate-friendly conversion. By 2020, the total should rise to $100 billion from both public and private funds. However, this was not achieved. Germany recently contributed a little more than four billion euros – and now wants to increase its contribution to six billion euros by 2025, a government spokesman said on Sunday. “The success of COP 26 depends significantly on the commitments made by industrialized countries to climate finance,” he said. “The G-7 should be the leader in this.”
The United States and Great Britain had previously announced an increase in their wealth. At least for Germany, this is “an important step,” says Jan Kowalzig, the development organization responsible for international aid for climate protection at Oxfam.
Environmentalists expected more
But environmentalists expected more from the G7 overall. Greenpeace boss Jennifer Morgan says the G7 has failed when it comes to preparing for a successful climate conference. “There is a painful lack of trust between rich and poor countries.” And not only in terms of climate, but also for the supply of vaccines. Both cases are of global solidarity.
The Paris climate agreement is also based on this solidarity. In it, climate change offenders commit not only to reducing their emissions step by step, but also to helping states that are just at the beginning of industrial development – and which should not be based on fossil fuels. Developing countries also see a measurable contribution to climate protection. After all, the wealthy of distant climate goals can hold much promise when the day is long. However, they can help immediately. Whether climate summits bring progress therefore always depends on money. Because in the end all the states have to agree on an agreement. British Prime Minister Johnson also says it is about credibility. The G7 is responsible for a “huge” portion of emissions. “And now we’re asking others to protect the climate.”
It goes, and the five pages of the Final Declaration on Climate are very clear about the “threats to the existence of people, prosperity, security and nature”. The G7 also mentions climate change and biodiversity in the same breath – too often, the two crises are viewed only in isolation. The industrialized countries are correct, at least in the analysis.
But in conclusion there’s more to well-thought-out cycles than concrete plans and commitments. Originally, the hosts wanted to exit any funding at the beginning of the next decade in the final document. Recently, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres demanded that industrialized countries say goodbye to coal by 2030 at the latest, and the rest of the world by 2040. But none of these can be found. Instead, the G7 committed itself to a massive (“heavy”) CO₂-free power system in the 1930s. “It was not possible to set a specific date,” says Chancellor Angela Merkel, who agreed with her coalition to end coal for 2038. “It wasn’t up to us anymore.”
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