In the media: "G7 leaders bid 'Auf Wiedersehen' to carbon fuels"
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“A new world economy”
“Whoever thought international climate policy was a temporary phenomenon, like a heavy thunderstorm with dark clouds, should quickly rethink,” writes Andreas Mihm in a front-page commentary for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The G7 statement is surprisingly clear and coal is “unambiguously the first on the hitlist.” Mihm says the energy transition will be particularly expensive in Germany because the country does not want to use nuclear power or fracking. Mihm concludes that the debate over a levy on old, coal-fired power plants clearly demonstrates that climate policy will bring Germany bitter conflicts.
See CLEW's round-up of reaction to the G7 statement here.
"Success in the battle against climate change"
“With hindsight, this summit will have to be recognised as the beginning of the world economy's farewell to fossil fuels,” Clemens Verenkotte commented on public broadcaster ARD. The seven leading industrialised nations will not be able to fall behind the agreed target to limit global warming to 2 degrees, Verenkotte says. “The G7 summit is a milestone in the battle against climate change.”
Read the commentary in German here.
“The good weather of Elmau”
Merkel celebrated her return as a “climate chancellor” in Elmau, write Simon Book et al. in the Handelsblatt. At the 2007 G8 summit in Heiligendamm Merkel managed to persuade US President George W. Bush to “consider seriously […] at least halving of global emissions by 2050,” though little has come of it, the authors write. The new G7 targets aimed at limiting global warming to 2°C and decarbonising the economy over the course of the century are vague - and in the case of decarbonisation, far in the future, the article says. Only the Paris climate conference in December will show what the pledges of Elmau are worth.
“Vision with question marks”
Merkel and Obama have succeeded in keeping climate action opponents Japan and Canada on board, Joachim Wille writes in an opinion piece for the Frankfurter Rundschau. This is a positive signal for the Paris climate summit in December. But the devil is in the detail, and the G7 have left open loopholes for non-sustainable energy technologies like nuclear power and still have to prove how seriously they will actually take the fossil phase-out. When it comes to shutting down coal-fired power stations, “climate champion” Germany in particular is dragging its feet.
“G7 heads of state proclaim the end of industrialisation as we know it”
Decisions made at the summit in Elmau will resonate like a drumbeat, especially in the energy industry, Manager Magazin writes of G7 countries' aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2100. The G7 leaders received unusual praise from Greenpeace and development NGO Oxfam, who said Elmau had “delivered” and was paving the way for the end of the fossil fuel era, the article says.
Read the article in German here.
“And now, please implement”
At the end of the G7 summit in Elmau, one must conclude that Angela Merkel has made more of the rigid ritual than many critics expected. The spectacular achievement of a target to decarbonise the world economy by the end of the century and transform the G7 energy supply by 2050 is basically Energiewende on a G7 scale, writes Malte Kreutzfeld in an op-ed in the TAZ. For now, the declaration is just words on paper but the pledges are at least concrete enough to give a clear signal to investors on which technology has a future and which doesn’t, the op-ed says. The authors of the agreement will have to justify any future discrepancies between their words and deeds. Having demonstrated her international commitment to climate action, Merkel will now have to prove her credibility at home, Kreutzfeld says. But she failing to support energy minister Sigmar Gabriel's brave action against climate-damaging coal plants. Kreutzfeld hopes Merkel’s hesitation on this issue will soon be over.
“G7 leaders target zero-carbon economy“
Global climate talks received a symbolic boost as the G7 group of rich nations threw their weight behind the goal of decarbonising the global economy over the course of this century, write Simon Evans and Sophie Yeo at the Carbon Brief. Their article analyses various aspects of the G7 leader’s declaration on climate change, including the zero carbon economy and finance.
Read the article in English here.
“G7 fossil fuel pledge is a diplomatic coup for Germany's 'climate chancellor'”
The Guardian says getting Japan and Canada to agree to phase out fossil fuels by 2100 was a “diplomatic coup” for Angel Merkel. The paper quotes Ruth Davis, a political advisor to Greenpeace saying “Angela Merkel took the G7 by the scruff of the neck.” Jennifer Morgan of the World Resources Institute told the Guardian the most important paragraph of the document introduced a mechanism to “ratchet up” targets, which she said was “fundamental to keeping 2C within sight.”
See the Guardian article in English here.
New York Times
"G7 Leaders Bid 'Auf Wiedersehen' to Carbon Fuels"
The New York Times says the summit “revitalized Merkel's green credentials,” quoting global activist network Avaaz: “Merkel's G7 says 'Auf Wiedersehen' to fossil fuels.”
See the New York Times article here.
G7 to limit global warming to below 2 degrees
Politico calls the G7 climate agreement a “victory” for Merkel, whose hope, the article says, is that the G7’s example “will send a message to other polluters”. It adds that the chancellor “staked her prestige on getting her fellow G7 leaders to follow Germany’s lead” on shifting from fossil fuels and nuclear power to renewables.
See the Politico article in English here.
The Globe and Mail
"Canada commits to G7 plan to end use of fossil fuels"
The Globe and Mail calls the G7’s target of giving up fossil fuels by the end of the century a “watered-down goal” compared to the German chancellor’s aim of completing the phase-out by 2050, and notes that “Canadian officials are playing down the promise as an ‘aspirational’ target”.
See the Globe and Mail article in English here.
The Financial Times (FT)
"Long road ahead as G7 fixes on climate change targets"
The Financial Times says the G7 leaders aim of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 70 per cent by 2050 on 2010 levels was “a much more precise long-term target than previously agreed,” but “many questions remained,” over how the complete phase-out of fossil fuels would be achieved.
In a separate article, the FT quotes Oxfam’s Tim Gore questioning how the G7 would meet the agreed target of 100 billion dollars a year in climate finance. “They’ve failed to commit to increase public funds, which is a vital foundation for success in Paris at the end of the year,” Gore said.