G7 calls on businesses, regions, and civil society to join Race to Zero and Race to Resilience

The G7 Summit was a landmark moment in a landmark year for climate action, and a critical stepping stone to the biggest international climate conference since Paris. By GONZALO MUÑOZ & NIGEL TOPPING, COP25 AND COP26 UN HIGH LEVEL CLIMATE ACTION CHAMPIONS | June 15, 2021

Building on meetings of G7 Climate & Environment and Finance ministers in recent weeks, G7 Leaders have for the first time confirmed a united vision to limit warming to 1.5C, and intensified efforts to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible and by 2050 at the latest.

This is a welcome display of climate leadership, with encouraging moves towards deeper 2030 ambition with commitments from all G7 leaders to increase their 2030 targets and halving of their collective emissions compared to 2010, or more than half when measured against an earlier 2005 baseline.

This is a significant step forward on where we were just 12 months ago, and the UK has led by example, last year legislating a net zero by 2050 target (an upgrade of its previous 80% cut by 2050), and a significant deepening of its interim targets, pledging to achieve a 68% reduction by 2030, and then even deeper to 78% by 2035.

We are delighted to see the G7 Leaders for the first time call on businesses, regions, and civil society to join the Race to Zero and Race to Resilience, and their recognition of the invaluable role non-state actors do and will continue to play in the transition to a vibrant zero-carbon economy. The G7’s express recognition for our work puts further wind in our sails as we work with business, investors and local leaders to navigate a successful course to COP26. With more than 4,500 participants now signed up, our Race to Zero is more powerful than ever before.

Combined with the critical move towards mandatory climate-related financial disclosure, commitments to phase out new direct government support for international carbon-intensive fossil fuel energy – especially coal – means that it is now beyond doubt that the transition to a zero-carbon economy is irreversibly underway and rapidly accelerating.

New climate finance commitments from Canada, the UK and Germany should be welcomed, but we look forward to more detailed and robust climate action plans, and a deeper commitment to finance pledges that deliver on the promise of Paris. A strong COP26 finance package will help developing countries to leapfrog to clean, green and resilient economic growth, and keep a maximum 1.5°C temperature increase within reach.

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