Climate and energy issues are on the agenda of the upcoming G7 Summit in Schloss Elmau, Germany. Chancellor Merkel has reserved the Monday morning (8 June from 0900 to 1030) for discussing the topics, as climate change is one of the key agenda items for her G7 Presidency. In particular, Merkel wants the G7 to contribute to the international climate negotiations in the run up to the UN climate summit in Paris, in December 2015.
In this media advisory, we aim to highlight several issues at stake, mention the key points for Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, and share information on relevant reports on the G7 that are published this week. CAN Europe will send a press release after the G7 summit.
Key points to be discussed
Long-term goal: Chancellor Merkel probably wants the G7 to agree to
– a goal for phasing out all greenhouse gas emissions during this century;
– a goal of reducing global emissions by 60% by 2050 as compared to 2010 emissions;
– a goal of decarbonising the power sector by the middle of the century.
Within the G7, these goals are not widely shared, especially by the United States, Japan and Canada.
Wendel Trio, director of CAN Europe: “These long-term goals look ambitious but are not enough. We need a complete phase out of emissions from the use of fossil fuels and a phase in of 100% renewable energy by 2050. Setting targets for the whole century will take off any serious political pressure on the process.”
INDCs: With Japan coming in this week, now all G7 members have announced their Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDCS). Regrettably, 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. Therefore CAN Europe urges the G7 meeting to be used as an opportunity to reconsider the INDCs and step up ambitions.
Press release by CAN Europe on the comparisons of the INDCs: https://caneurope.org/media-center/829-g7-climate-pledges-not-in-line-with-climate-science
Climate finance: In 2014 the G7 reaffirmed the pledge for developed countries to mobilize USD 100 billion annually from public and private sources for climate financing by 2020. This goal is still far from being achieved. Through its own recent declaration to double its climate finance from €2 billion a year to €4 billion a year by 2020, Germany is clearly trying to find ways to make progress on the issue of climate finance. While new pledges are not to be expected at the G7 Summit, leaders will be looking at ways to communicate to the rest of the world, and in particular to the Least Developed Countries that the G7 is taking its commitment serious. How that can be done without putting extra public money on the table is unclear.
Wendel Trio: “We support Germany in its efforts to get the necessary amount of climate finance from the G7 and other countries. But I am worried about the small amount of money that has been promised until now, by only a limited amount of countries.”
Coal Finance and Coal Phase-Out: The US has proposed for the G7 to discuss and agree the phase out of coal support through Export Credit Agencies (ECAs). This proposal has the support from France and the UK. However Germany is refusing to put the item on the agenda, in particular given the huge reluctance from Japan to even engage in a discussion.
There is also a domestic problem for Merkel regarding coal. Her government is considering putting a climate levy on highly polluting, old coal power plants in order for Germany to be able to meet its own domestic 40% CO2 emissions reduction target for 2020. This proposal has run into a lot of opposition, in particular from labour unions. While Merkel internationally speaks strongly out on climate action, nationally Merkel has yet to show any support for tackling coal and the proposed law her own Economics minister Gabriel has put forward. If Merkel will not support this levy, Germany as a host country will fail to fulfill its own CO2 reduction targets. Alongside strong growth in renewables, still nearly half of Germany’s electricity production comes from hard coal and lignite burning.
Wendel Trio: “Coal is the low hanging fruit in the fight against climate change, as it is responsible for 43% of global emissions. With a combination of the transition towards renewables, structural energy savings and a functioning system of CO2 pricing, it is possible to phase out coal very soon.”
German civil society organizations are organising a summit in Munich, which includes demonstrations, a mass rally on June 6, a climate camp (June 4-8) as well as a march on the G7 summit (http://g7-demo.de/ablauf/). The focus of these activities will be very broad and climate and energy issues will be one amongst many.
Relevant reports coming out
Under the rug: How governments and international institutions are hiding billions in support to the coal industry (WWF, Oil Change International, NRDC)
Launched on June 2nd, this report exposes for the first time a web of billions of dollars of public finance flowing to support the coal industry each year by way of export support, development aid and general finance. The analysis finds that public finance has played a significant role in supporting coal projects over the last 8 years. The report shows that between 2007 and 2014, more than US $73 billion – or over $9 billion a year – in public finance was approved for coal.
Coal Atlas: Data and facts on a global fuel (Heinrich Böll Stiftung and BUND)
Also published on June 2nd, the two German organisations presented the global 2015 Coal Atlas that exposes the continuing damaging use of hard coal and of lignite. Germany is even world champion in terms of lignite production and consumption. The EU28 countries subsidise the industry with billions of euros, while climate, the environment and people suffer.
Link to report (in German): https://www.bund.net/index.php?id=22358
Let them eat coal: Why the G7 must stop burning coal to tackle climate change and fight hunger (Oxfam)
On June 6, Oxfam will publish an overview of emissions from coal in each of the G7 countries, including calcualations of climate change-related costs in Africa and elsewhere in the world. The report calls upon clear leadership of the G7 to reduce their own emissions, put in place a plant to go beyond coal and to mobilise climate finance.
For an (embargoed) copy of the report, please contact Lucy Brinicombe LBrinicombe@oxfam.org.uk
Joop Hazenberg, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, +32 496 70 36 38
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.