‘Green revolution’: G7 leaders pledge to halve emissions by 2030 and end all unabated coal ‘as soon as possible’

They have also promised to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and transform the financing of infrastructure projects in developing countries

The Big Zero report

The leaders of the G7 nations have committed to a “green revolution” that would limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5C and pledged to halve emissions by 2030, relative to 2010.

They have also promised to reach net zero emissions by 2050, with measures including ending all unabated coal “as soon as possible”, ending almost all direct government support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas and phasing our petrol and diesel cars.

The pledges form part of the ‘Build Back Better for the World Plan’ announced at the G7 Summit in Cornwall, hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the weekend, where the leaders of the world’s rich countries – which include the UK, US, Canada, Japan, France, Germany and Italy – agreed to a raft of measures to address the climate crisis and protect nature.

That includes transforming the financing of infrastructure projects in developing countries, with a new approach intended to give them access to “more, better and faster” finance, while accelerating the global shift to renewable energy and sustainable technology.

The leaders committed to increase their contributions to international climate finance to meet the target of mobilising $100 billion (£70.8bn) a year, to help developing countries deal with the impacts of climate change and support sustainable, green growth.

Mr Johnson also launched the UK’s £500 million Blue Planet Fund, which will support countries including Ghana, Indonesia and Pacific island states to tackle unsustainable fishing, protect and restore coastal ecosystems like mangroves and coal reefs and reduce marine pollution.

In addition, the G7 nations endorsed a Nature Compact to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030, including supporting the global target to conserve or protect at least 30% of land and 30% of ocean globally by the end of the decade.

The UK prime minister said: “Protecting our planet is the most important thing we as leaders can do for our people. There is a direct relationship between reducing emissions, restoring nature, creating jobs and ensuring long term economic growth.

“As democratic nations we have a responsibility to help developing countries reap the benefits of clean growth through a fair and transparent system. The G7 has an unprecedented opportunity to drive a global Green Industrial Revolution, with the potential to transform the way we live.”

Sir David Attenborough, who was recently appointed as the UK’s COP26 People’s Advocate, also addressed leaders on the importance of action to limit global warming to 1.5C, urging them to take action as the world’s leading economies to secure the future of the planet.

He added: “The natural world today is greatly diminished. That is undeniable. Our climate is warming fast. That is beyond doubt. Our societies and nations are unequal and that is sadly plain to see.

“But the question science focuses us to address specifically in 2021 is whether as a result of these intertwined facts we are on the verge of destabilising the entire planet?

“If that is so, then the decisions we make this decade – in particular the decisions made by the most economically advanced nations – are the most important in human history.”

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