G7 climate pledges not in line with climate science

Global transition

With Japan’s cabinet agreeing on its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution today, now all G7 countries have announced their commitments to the Paris climate agreement to be signed at the end of the year. Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe’s analysis reveals that these commitments will in 2025 deliver only 19% of emission reductions in comparison to 1990. This is well below the 25%-40% reduction range that rich countries needed to commit to for 2020, if the world is to stay below 2°C increase of temperature and prevent a catastrophic change of the climate.

The world’s biggest developed economies, represented within the G7 have recently published their contributions to the new global climate agreement, to be signed in Paris in December this year. The G7 countries (Germany, the UK, Italy, France, the US, Canada and Japan) have presented their emission reductions targets using different baselines (1990, 2005, 2013) and different commitment periods (2025 or 2030), which makes it difficult to compare their efforts to the requirements of climate science.

Climate has been put on the agenda at the next G7 summit on June 7-8 in Germany. CAN Europe calls the leaders of the G7 countries to use this meeting as an opportunity to reconsider their commitments, as they are clearly falling short of what is needed from rich countries to keep global temperature rise below the threshold of 2°C and avoid catastrophic consequences of climate change.

At the Bali Climate Summit in 2007, governments agreed that in order to keep temperature rise below 2°C, developed countries should reduce their emissions by 25%-40% in 2020 and by 80%-95% in 2050. Achieving the 2050 target with efforts distributed consistently over time would require developed countries to cut their emissions by 34%-49% by 2025. CAN Europe has calculated that with the current targets, the G7 together will only reach a 19% reduction by 2025, which means they are failing short of an alarming 15% to 30% in cuts.

Leaders of the G7 countries have failed to commit to real emission reductions – Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network said. The low ambition of the worlds’ largest economies to tackle climate change puts the lives and well-being of all of us at major risk. The costs of inaction will grow exponentially in years to come as our economies will need to adapt to the disastrous impacts of climate change. We call on the leaders attending the G7 summit in June to pledge tougher goals to cut emissions in order to speed up the transition away from harmful and outdated fossil fuels.

Blameworthy, Canada and Japan plan to deliver hardly any reductions below their 1990 emissions, though these countries have presented their commitments as a real change in their policies. On the other side, Germany and the UK, both have unilateral engagements for post-2020 emission reductions, that are well beyond the average of the G7 countries. However, even these commitments fall short of what is needed to keep temperature rise well below 2°C.

G7 countries emissions (in MtCO2-e)


1990  emissions (1)

2020 target (2)

2020 emissions

reduction 2020 – 1990

2025 target (3)

2030 target (3)

2025 emissions

reduction 2025 – 1990



-17% (2005)



-30% (2005)





-20% (1990)



-40% (1990)





-40% (1990)



-55% (1990)





-20% (1990)



-40% (1990)





-3,8% (2005)



-26% (2013)





-35% (1990)



-50% (1990)





-17% (2005)



-26-28% (2005)









(1) Total emissions excluding Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry, based on emissions data of Climate Analysis Indicators Tool from the World Resources Institute (WRI)
(2) The Copenhagen Accord
(3) The UNFCCC’s INDC portal

The four EU Member States in the G7 (Germany, UK, Italy and France) have a common target within the EU, which commits the bloc to reduce its emissions by at least 40% by 2030, as compared to 1990 emissions.

France and Italy do not have national economy-wide targets. Their efforts are part of the EU’s 20% by 2020 and at least 40% by 2030 targets. The individual contribution of both countries is calculated on the basis of an equal share in reductions of their 2005 emissions under the Emissions Trading Scheme and the agreed respective likely targets for 2020 and 2030 for the non-ETS sectors.

Germany has a unilateral target to reduce emissions by 40% by 2020 and by 55% by 2030, while the UK’s Climate Change Act commits the UK to reduce its emissions by 35% by 2020 and by 50% by 2025.

The US has committed to an emission reduction of 26% to 28% by 2025 as compared to 2005 emissions. Canada has committed to an emission reduction of 30% by 2030 as compared to 2005. Japan has today announced a commitment to reduce its emissions by 26% by 2030 as compared to 2013 emissions.

Ania Drazkiewicz, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator, ania@caneurope.org, +32 494 525 738
Wendel Trio, CAN Europe Director, wendel@caneurope.org, +32 473 170 887

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe’s largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 120 member organisations in more than 30 European countries, CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable energy and environment policy in Europe. CAN Europe represents 44 million citizens who support the work of its members.


Press release

New Parliament. Same Planet.

Brussels, 10 June 2024 —  The 2024 European Parliament election will go down as one that was characterised by frustration at the rising cost of living, growing inequalities and political

Read More »