G7 leaders agree to tackle climate change as the summit ends
World leaders meeting in Cornwall are to adopt strict measures on coal-fired power stations as part of the battle against climate change. The G7 group will promise to move away from coal plants, unless they have technology to capture carbon emissions. It comes as Sir David Attenborough warned that humans could be “on the verge of destabilising the entire planet”. He said G7 leaders face the most important decisions in human history. The coal announcement came from the White House, which says it is the first time the leaders of wealthy nations have committed to keeping the projected global temperature rise to 1.5C.
Leaders of the G7 countries will back a western rival to China’s Belt and Road Initiative on Sunday, with a plan to mobilise billions of dollars to help developing countries tackle climate change. US president Joe Biden has led calls to offer poor countries a new source of infrastructure finance, providing a ‘democratic’ alternative to Chinese loans, which are seen in the west as a tool to spread Beijing’s influence.
Boris Johnson wants to focus on supporting green initiatives and has been wary of presenting the initiative as an ‘anti-China’ effort. British officials said they wanted the group of leading western economies to “show what we are for, not who we are against”.
G7 leaders are expected to commit to increasing their contributions to international climate finance. This will help them meet a pre-existing target of mobilising $100bn a year from rich countries to help poor countries support green growth.
In their conclusions from this weekend’s summit, G7 leaders are expected to include a pledge to almost halve their emissions by 2030 relative to 2010. This will also include promises to end almost all direct government support for fossil fuels and the phasing out of petrol and diesel cars.