04 Jun 2015
Kerstine Appunn

G7 to vow decarbonisation, support for climate summit - official

G7 countries hope to present their vision of a long-term target for climate protection at their upcoming summit in Germany, according to a German official. Industrialised nations could also make pledges to decarbonise their economies, but in the end the UN climate summit in Paris will be the place where all countries have to make actual commitments, German negotiators said.

The Monday morning session of the G7 summit in Elmau in the south of the country will revolve around climate and energy, the German official said. During this session, Chancellor Angela Merkel would push the G7 to assume a pioneering position on climate change and decarbonisation that can inspire climate treaty negotiations in Paris.

Unlike the COP21 in Paris, the G7 meeting is not the place for individual countries to make concrete commitments on CO2 reductions, according to the official. Instead, the seven industrial nations France, Italy, US, UK, Canada, Japan and Germany would provide visions and pledges that can further the talks with other large emitters in the climate treaty negotiations ahead. Whether a commitment to the 2 degree limit on global warming was going to be part of the final communiqué was not yet sure.

The official said Germany’s domestic struggle to reach CO2 targets would not affect its negotiating position among the G7. Commentators and environmental groups have criticised in the run-up to the meeting that the government was unable to solve disputes about emissions from coal-fired power plants, power lines and the electricity market design, harming Germany’s role as model for transforming into a low-carbon economy.

At the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in May, Angela Merkel had said that Germany would double its contribution to international climate financing by 2020. In 2009, industrialised nations agreed to mobilise a total of $100 billion US dollars (87 billion euros) a year as of 2020 to help developing countries adapt to and mitigate climate change. “We are aware that the industrialised nations as a whole will have to do more if we are to honour the pledge," Angela Merkel had said, adding she would like other G7 members to make similar commitments. However, the insider said they don’t expect other countries to follow suit in Elmau.

As an example of climate finance options, the delegates cited a climate risk insurance, currently available for around 100 million farmers mostly in Africa. The German G7 presidency will make the case for significantly increasing the number of farmers covered by such an insurance.

With regard to energy, the G7 heads of state and government would have to decide whether they endorse the recommendations of the G7 energy ministers who met in Hamburg in May, the official said. The energy ministers' communiqué centred on energy efficiency, security of supply and cyber security in the energy and power sector.

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