G7: Recognizing need for full decarbonization, but falling short on action to achieve it

Global transition

CAN Europe is asking for more ambition in the fight against climate change and a 100% renewables target by 2050.

The G7 Summit in Germany, which ended today, has sent a signal that the world needs to fully move away from fossil fuels. For the first time leaders of the world’s richest countries have spoken out on full decarbonisation of the global economy in this century.

Wendel Trio, director of Climate Action Network Europe has the following comments on the outcome of the G7 summit.


“I welcome the ambition for a full decarbonisation of the global economy. It is good the G7 recognises both the economic benefits of phasing out fossil fuels as well as the cost of inaction, mainly for poor countries. However, to achieve this more action from all G7 countries is needed right now. They need to go faster with reducing their polluting emissions, they need to start phasing out all coal power plants, and they need to provide more finance to fund the transformation in poor countries.”

Action needed now

The G7 Summit makes clear what the world needs to do in the next few months, as we prepare for the UN’s Climate Summit in December 2015 in Paris. CAN Europe is asking chiefly for action on the following three points:

1. Increase the ambition of the 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. All G7 members need to increase their INDCs, including the European Union to go beyond its pledged 40% greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2030.

2. Agree to phase out coal in all G7 countries, including the G7 host Germany. Germany is about to miss its own reduction targets for 2020, as it remains addicted to hard coal and lignite burning, and Chancellor Merkel is not showing leadership on this issue. Coal is the low hanging fruit in the fight against climate change, as it is responsible for 43% of global emissions. G7 countries should put in place plans to pro-actively phase out coal as part of a transition away from all fossil fuels to 100% renewables. This means that also countries like Japan need to abandon plans to build a significant number of new coal power plants.

3. Commit to climate financing. The communiqué falls short of making the concrete commitments needed in order to deliver on climate finance needs. The world’s richest nations need to put their money and cards on the table for climate financing – not only for the annual 100 billion dollar promised by 2020, but also for the period after 2020. Germany is giving the good example by doubling its financial commitments by 2020 – now the rest needs to follow Merkel’s footsteps.


Wendel Trio, Director of CAN Europe, wendel@caneurope.org, +32 473 170 887

Joop Hazenberg, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator, joop@caneurope.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.


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