G7 Environment Ministers Reaffirm Commitment to 2030 Agenda
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
story highlights

G7 Environment Ministers and European Commissioners responsible for environment and climate issued a joint statement reaffirming their commitment to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; six of the seven G7 members signed onto a sections regarding the Paris Agreement on climate change and multilateral development banks.

G7 Environment Ministers adopted a five-year Bologna Roadmap outlining next steps to advance resource efficiency.

Representatives of the world’s religions adopted the ‘Bologna Interfaith Charter: Living Our Values, Acting for Our Common Home,’ pledging commitment to protect the environment and hold nations, corporations and communities “accountable for how they treat the planet”.

12 June 2017: At the close of a two-day meeting held in Bologna, Italy, the Environment Ministers and European Commissioners responsible for environment and climate of the Group of 7 (G7) issued a communiqué reaffirming their commitment to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Only six of the seven ministers signed onto the sections in the communique on the Paris Agreement on climate change and multilateral development banks (MDBs).

The G7 Environment Ministers meeting took place from 11-12 June 2017, with environment ministers from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US participating. The US supported the communiqué except for the sections on climate action and MDBs, citing the country’s “recent announcement to withdraw and immediately cease implementation of the Paris Agreement and associated financial commitments.”

The communiqué has eleven sections, addressing: the 2030 Agenda; climate change; sustainable finance, including the need for scaling up sustainable finance through the promotion of financial centers for sustainability and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) financing; the role of resource efficiency, 3Rs (reuse, reduce, recycle), circular economy and sustainable material management in attaining economic growth and employment, along with environmental and social benefits; marine litter; MDBs and support for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement; environmental fiscal reform and sustainable development; environment policies and employment; and Africa. The ministers also welcomed reports from events on Universities for Sustainable Development and Firms for Sustainable Development.

On the 2030 Agenda, the G7 ministers resolve “to work towards promoting the necessary paradigm shift, transformative actions and decisively move towards policy coherence for Sustainable Development,” and “emphasize the importance of accountability at every step, from policy assessment to concrete action.”

On climate change, the Environment Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the UK and European Commissioners responsible for environment and climate “agree that the Paris Agreement is irreversible and its full integrity is key for the security and prosperity of our planet, societies and economies.” These leaders highlight that “Implementing the Paris Agreement, coherently with and in the context of the 2030 Agenda, is essential and can provide us with significant opportunities for modernizing our economies, for enhancing competitiveness, and stimulating employment and growth, while securing social inclusion.” They also welcome the adoption of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase-down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and the agreement by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to adopt a Global Market-Based Measure to address emissions from international aviation, and call on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to further accelerate its efforts to reduce carbon emissions from the maritime sector. Among other provisions related to MDBs, these ministers indicate that they “look forward to seeing fully mainstreamed climate change considerations throughout MDB operations, promotion of clean technology, and support the poorest and most vulnerable to build resilience to the impacts of climate change.”

Among other elements, the G7 Environment Ministers indicate they are: “determined to further implement the G7 Action Plan to Combat Marine Litter (APML) and call for strengthening the coherence, efficiency and effectiveness of existing international efforts”; supportive of efforts by “G7 and other countries interested in examining and removing incentives, particularly inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, not coherent with sustainability goals”; and aware of the “impact of climate change and environmental degradation on Africa’s agricultural production and food security, water availability, as well as on stability and economic growth in the region.”

The G7 ministers also acknowledged the UN Environment’s contribution to the discussion through the publications, titled ‘Financial Centres for Sustainability: Reviewing G7 Financial Centres in Mobilizing Green and Sustainable Finance’ and ‘Mobilizing Sustainable Finance for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises: Reviewing Experience and Identifying Options in the G7.’

G7 Environment Ministers and European Commissioners adopted a five-year Bologna Roadmap annexed to the statement, outlining next steps to advance resource efficiency through, inter alia: resource efficiency indicators; assessing the potential greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions of resource efficiency policies; sustainable material management at international level; economic analysis of resource efficiency; citizen involvement and raising public awareness; private sector involvement; and action on food waste, plastics and green public procurement, among others. [Five-year Bologna Roadmap] [G7 Bologna Environment Ministers’ Meeting Communique] [Financial Centres for Sustainability : Reviewing G7 Financial Centres in Mobilizing Green and Sustainable Finance] [Mobilizing Sustainable Finance for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises: Reviewing Experience and Identifying Options in the G7] [UN Environment Press Release] [UNFCCC Press Release]

Speaking on behalf of the EU, European Commissioner Karmenu Vella expressed regret over the US’ inability “to join the rest of us in the climate change part of the communiqué.” [European Commission Statement]

During the meeting, the Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Hoesung Lee updated the Ministers on the state of climate change science. [IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee’s Statement before G7 Environment Ministers]

In her statement before G7 Environment Ministers, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa stressed the need for governments, business, cities, territories and regions “to all act in concert” on climate change and sustainable development. [UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa’s Statement before G7 Environment Ministers]

Ahead of the G7 Environment Ministers’ meeting, on 9 June 2017, representatives of the world’s largest religions adopted the ‘Bologna Interfaith Charter: Living Our Values, Acting for Our Common Home,’ pledging commitment to protect the environment and hold nations, corporations and communities “accountable for how they treat the planet.” [Bologna Interfaith Charter: Living Our Values, Acting for Our Common Home]

related posts