7 June 2018
Non-State Actors Urge G7 to Send Strong Signals on Climate
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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Global investors with more than US$26 trillion in assets have released a statement calling on G7 countries to step up their climate ambition, including through enhancing their NDCs by 2020, putting a “meaningful” price on carbon and phasing out fossil fuel subsidies.

The We Mean Business coalition has published a statement calling on leaders to close the ambition gap with the Paris Agreement’s goals, emphasizing the importance of policy signals from governments to provide businesses the certainty needed to inform strategic planning and drive low-GHG capital investment and innovation.

The G7 Global Taskforce of Civil Society has published recommendations to the G7 to move to swift implementation of the Paris Agreement towards achieving decarbonization of the global economy by 2050, leaving no one behind and creating the right opportunities for all people around the world.

A group of think tanks has released a publication showing that the G7 countries are still providing government support for domestic and foreign production and consumption of oil, gas and coal, despite commitments to phase-out subsidies since 2009.

6 June 2018: In advance of the 2018 G7 Leaders’ Summit, taking place from 8-9 June in Charlevoix, Canada, groups representing non-State actors, including businesses, civil society, global investors and think tanks, have published statements urging the G7 countries to enhance climate action and support as well as research tracking progress on previous commitments made by the G7.

Investors Call on G7 Leaders to Step Up Climate Ambition

A group of 288 investors with more than US$26 trillion in assets has released a statement in advance of the G7 Summit, calling on governments to step up their climate ambition to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, support investments to accelerate the low-carbon transition and improve climate-related financial reporting. Highlighting their concern that current Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) “would lead to an unacceptably high temperature increase that would cause substantial negative economic impacts,” the investors call on governments to urgently address this ambition gap, and underscore the need for close collaboration with investors to incorporate “Paris-aligned” climate scenarios into policy frameworks and energy transition pathways.

Highlighting the “significant economic benefits,” increased investments and job opportunities in new industries that frontrunners in implementing the Paris Agreement and the low-carbon transition will see, the investors call on global leaders to undertake specific actions, including: start the process to update and strengthen NDCs in line with the Paris Agreement in 2018, to be completed no later than 2020; communicate long-term emission reduction strategies in 2018; support a just transition to a low-carbon economy; put a “meaningful” price on carbon and phase out fossil fuel subsidies; phase out thermal coal power worldwide; and take various measures to improve climate-related financial reporting, including committing to implement the Task-force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations no later than 2020. [2018 Global Investor Statement to Governments on Climate Change]

Global Business Coalition Urges G7 Leaders to Close Ambition Gap

We Mean Business (WMB), a global non-profit coalition working with businesses to take action on climate change, has released a statement to global leaders in advance of the G7 Summit. Underscoring the gap between current climate commitments and those needed to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, the WMB statement calls on the G7 countries to: reaffirm their strong commitment to the swift and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement; include more ambitious targets and measures in their NDC communications in 2020; communicate comprehensive and ambitious long-term, low-greenhouse gas (GHG) development strategies to guide future NDCs and national climate policy as soon as possible; build resilience to climate impacts, in particular among the most vulnerable communities; and support a just transition to a net-zero emissions global economy.

Think tanks warn that all G7 countries are at risk of not delivering on the fossil fuel phase-out commitment.

The statement also calls on the G7 Leaders to commit to actions that can provide the right signals to further enhance business ambition, including to accelerate the transition to low-carbon energy systems and electric vehicles, to set strong carbon pricing signals and phase out fossil fuel subsidies as soon as possible, to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, and to support the implementation of the recommendations of the TCFD. [We Mean Business Press Release]

Civil Society Taskforce Presents Recommendations for G7 Summit

The Climate and Energy Working Group of the G7 Global Taskforce, a broad coalition of civil society organizations from around the world, has also published its recommendations for the G7 Summit. Underscoring 2018 as a crucial year for the global community to demonstrate its determination to increase efforts to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels, the Taskforce urges the G7 to send signals to ensure swift implementation of the Paris Agreement, integrating economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development towards achieving decarbonization of the global economy by 2050, leaving no one behind and creating the right opportunities for all people around the world.

Among others, the Taskforce calls on the G7 countries to: acknowledge the UN Environment Programme (UNEP, or UN Environment) Emissions Gap Report and recognize the urgency of increasing efforts to close the emissions gap in light of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC (SR15); support the poorest and most vulnerable, with a specific focus on women and girls and indigenous communities adapting to the impacts of climate change; and reaffirm their commitment to the goal of mobilizing US$100 billion annually by 2020 and replenish the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The Taskforce also urges the G7 to present a roadmap detailing how the commitment to phase out fossil fuel subsidies by 2025 will be met, to recognize the particular support needs of small island development States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and to acknowledge that insurance is not sufficient to respond to climate change impacts and slow onset climate-related events, recognizing the need for “new and innovative” instruments to ensure financial support.

The Taskforce calls on the Summit to highlight the contribution of indigenous peoples in the creation of policies to lead to a more sustainable world, also underscoring the need for urgent action recognizing climate change as “the biggest public health threat of our time.” [G7 Taskforce Press Release]

Think Tanks Track G7 Performance on Fossil Fuel Subsidies

A policy brief published by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and Oil Change International (OCI) assesses progress of the G7 countries on phasing-out fiscal support and public finance for oil, gas and coal. Pointing to pledges to end fossil fuel subsidies within the G7 and G20 since 2009, as well as related commitments under the SDGs and the goals of the Paris Agreement, the brief titled, ‘G7 Fossil Fuel Subsidy Scorecard,’ reports that the G7 countries still provided at least US$100 billion annually in 2015 and 2016 in government support for domestic and foreign production and consumption of oil, gas and coal.

Featuring a detailed scorecard on the G7 countries’ progress towards meeting their 2025 fossil fuel subsidy phase-out commitment, the brief notes that while France scores highest and the US lowest, no country received an overall strong score, concluding that all G7 countries are at risk of not delivering on the fossil fuel phase-out commitment. The brief highlights overall areas where progress has been achieved, including the end of public finance for coal mining in Canada, France and Italy, as well as areas of concern, which include: findings that all G7 Governments have provided new public finance for oil and gas exploration and production since 2016 when the Paris Agreement came into force; and Japan’s continued financing of coal-fired power plants abroad.

The policy brief provides recommendations for the G7, including to: complete and publish comprehensive fossil fuel subsidy peer reviews no later than 2019; establish country-level plans for fossil fuel subsidy phase-out starting with key subsidies with negative social and environmental impacts; and ensure that subsidies for energy transition do not support fossil fuels, and that any remaining support goes to facilitating a “just transition” and to vulnerable communities and households. It recommends that the G7 countries lead by example within other fossil fuel subsidy phase-out processes such as the G20 and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the SDGs and the UNFCCC; and establish a standing agenda item at the G7 energy ministerial meetings to track progress towards the 2025 deadline, with support from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), International Energy Agency (IEA) and International Monetary Fund (IMF). SDG target 12.c calls for rationalizing “inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption by removing market distortions, in accordance with national circumstances…”. [G7 Fossil Fuel Subsidy Scorecard] [2018 G7 Leaders’ Summit Website] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on UNFCCC Executive Secretary’s Statement Ahead of G7 Summit] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on LDC Group’s Statement Ahead of G7 Summit]

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