The leaders of the world’s richest nations have been told to immediately end support for fossil fuels and other planet-killing practices as the G7 summit meets today.
The Planetary Emergency Partnership, comprising some 350 leading scientists, economists, and business and civil society organizations today delivered a letter to the leaders meeting in Cornwall, U.K., calling for urgent reforms to institute the wholesale action needed to address the climate emergency.
Under the heading “G7: Value the future, stop crowd-funding catastrophe,” the letter states: “A resilient, net-zero, nature-positive global economy will be a critical driver of human health, well-being and prosperity and must be at the heart of a global COVID-19 recovery. Yet, many of today’s investments are working against this goal, casting a long shadow on resilience to future shocks from climate, biodiversity loss and health pandemics.”
The signatories then make five demands of the G7 leaders, to take action on five key decisions:
First, to adopt the 50×30 target, which commits countries to cutting CO2 emissions by 50% by 2030.
Second, to back the G7 Climate and Environment Ministers’ Communique published in May, which calls for, among other things, formal protections of at least 30% of the world’s land and oceans by 2030, reversing biodiversity loss, and phasing out government support for fossil fuel projects, with an immediate ban on new finance for coal this year.
Third, to end what the partnership calls “perverse” fossil fuel and agricultural subsidies by 2025. The letter notes that such subsidies totalled a staggering $5.3 trillion, or 6.5% of global GDP, in 2015.
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Fourth, to align public finance with Paris Agreement goals, including an end to fossil fuel-based energy investments this year, and a tripling of investments in zero carbon energy by 2025. The partnership notes that between 2017 and 2019, the G7 put $86 billion of public money into fossil fuels—“three times as much support compared to clean energy.”
Fifth, the signatories require that governments carry out “mandatory due diligence” to assess and counteract climate risks, and institute sustainable finance platforms to support sustainable supply chains. “Governments must act today to direct the finance sector towards sustainable finance and ensure future resilience to environmental and health crises,” the demands conclude.
Signatory Johan Rockström, the Director of the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research, said: “We don’t expect more miracles; but we demand urgent action commensurate with the scale of the challenges facing the world.” Drawing attention the Club of Rome’s Planetary Emergency Plan, Rockström said: “The post COVID recovery presents an opportunity to truly bounce forward to build hope and drive action to respond to the human health, economic, climate and biodiversity crises with long-term solutions that will build resilient and regenerative societies.”
Sandrine Dixson-Declève, co-president of the Club of Rome, which convened the Planetary Emergency Partnership, implored the G7 to take its responsibilities more seriously.
“We call on G7 Leaders to adopt targets and timetables comparable to the planetary emergency at hand and predicted economic impacts from future climate, health and environmental crises,” Dixson-Declève said. She noted a report from Swiss Re Institute in April that shows G7 nations are set to lose 8.5% of GDP every year—twice the economic impact of Covid-19—if temperatures rise by 2.6 degrees Celsius, which is the current climate trajectory.
“As a minimum,” Dixson-Declève said, “G7 leaders must show leadership by shifting hundreds of billions of dollars out of perverse subsidies for fossil fuels and agricultural practices that increase GHG emissions and biodiversity loss and agree to shift capital to low carbon and nature based economic activities over this decade.”
The Planetary Emergency Partnership letter can be read here.