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Statement by the UK Presidency of the G7: The Road to COP

June 18, 2021
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I. Introduction

As we look ahead to the UNFCCC COP26 meeting in Glasgow in November, this statement – issued by the UK as G7 Presidency, and incoming Presidency for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP26) in Glasgow, in partnership with Italy – takes stock of new climate and nature commitments made by G7 members and partner countries who attended the Carbis Bay Summit on 12-13 June 2021. In line with the Paris Agreement, the Presidency notes that developed country parties should continue taking the lead by undertaking economy-wide absolute emission reduction targets and in mobilising climate finance to support developing countries in their mitigation efforts and adapting to the impacts of climate change.

II. Carbis Bay discussions

During their meeting in Carbis Bay, the Leaders of the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, South Africa, and the United States discussed the interdependent challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss that threaten nature, people, prosperity and security. They were joined by heads of the UN, International Monetary Fund, World Bank and OECD along with Sir David Attenborough, COP26 People's Advocate, who called on Leaders to take urgent action to avoid environmental crises,

"Tackling climate change is now as much a political and communications challenge as it is a scientific or technological one. We have the skills to address climate change in time, all we need is the global will to do so…Decisions taken at this G7 meeting, at the Biodiversity COP in China, and COP26 in Glasgow are the most important decisions humanity has ever taken"

The discussion recognised this and highlighted that 2021 is a critical year of international leadership towards achieving a sustainable future, looking forward to the UNFCCC COP26 in Glasgow and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP15 in Kunming. As the Prime Minister has said,

"The solution to our climate conundrum is on the surface of it simple – achieve net zero and limit the rise in global temperature to 1.5c… I will be seeking commitments from G7 members to use their voices and their votes wherever and whenever possible to support the transition to net zero, kick start a green industrial revolution, and build economies that can withstand whatever our changing climate throws at us….We simply must meet our existing commitments on climate finance, that long overdue $100 billion dollars a year target, and then we must go further still… Developed nations cannot stop climate change on their own, but if we want others to leapfrog the dirty technology that did so much for us, then we have a moral and a practical obligation to help them do so."

III. Supporting COP26 Presidency goals

Reflecting on the COP26 Presidency goals, the Prime Minister invited partners at the meeting to set out the specific actions they are taking to drive a global green transition both in their own economies, and to support developing nations on a path to reaching net zero.

Goal 1: Secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach

Ahead of COP26, the UK COP Presidency is calling on all countries to come forward with ambitious 2030 emissions reductions targets (Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)) that align with reaching net zero by the middle of the century. To deliver on these stretching targets countries will need to: accelerate the phase out of coal; curtail deforestation; speed up the switch to electric vehicles; and encourage investment in renewables.

At the Carbis Bay Summit, Leaders discussed the global imperative of holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, recognising that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change. Recognising that the path would look different for each country, as well as the specific challenges faced by developing countries, particularly those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, Leaders acknowledged the collective effort needed to significantly reduce emissions during this decade and reach net zero global greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible in order to keep the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement in reach.

Beyond the collective commitments made by G7 Leaders, as detailed in the Carbis Bay G7 Summit Communique, the United Kingdom has reaffirmed its commitment to reduce emissions by at least 68 per cent by 2030 and by 78 per cent by 2035 from 1990 levels. Australia has reaffirmed its intention to overachieve on its 2030 emissions reduction target of 26-28 per cent below 2005 levels, and to release its Long-Term Strategy ahead of COP26. Canada has reaffirmed its commitment to reduce emissions by 40-45 per cent by 2030 from 2005 levels. The European Union has reaffirmed its commitment to reach climate neutrality by 2050 and to a Union-wide target of reducing net emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030 from 1990 levels. France has reaffirmed its commitment to reduce emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 from 1990 levels. Germany has reaffirmed its commitment to reach net zero by 2045 and to reduce emissions 65 per cent by 2030 from 1990 levels. Italy has reaffirmed its commitment to reduce emissions by 33 per cent by 2030 from 1990 levels. Japan has reaffirmed its commitment to reduce emissions by 46 per cent in FY2030 from FY2013 levels while continuing to take on a challenge to aim at the goal of cutting emissions by 50 per cent. The Republic of Korea has reaffirmed its commitment to achieving Net Zero by 2050 and to release an updated NDC at COP26. The United States has reaffirmed its commitment to its updated NDC target of 50-52 per cent emissions reduction in 2030 below 2005 levels.

In their discussions in Carbis Bay, Leaders were encouraged by the accelerated deployment of renewable and clean energy technology. In his address, Sir David Attenborough highlighted coal power generation as the single biggest cause of global temperature increases and, in that context Leaders discussed the need to further accelerate the transition away from unabated coal capacity and to an overwhelmingly decarbonised power system, and noted the differential phase out dates for developed and developing countries set out in the International Energy Agency's 'Net Zero by 2050' report, published in May 2021.

Leaders also recognised the importance of sustained policy support and investment to promote green growth and address climate change in their recoveries. In line with the Paris Agreement, Leaders noted in their discussions the imperatives of a just transition of the workforce and the creation of decent work and quality jobs in accordance with nationally defined development priorities so that no person, group or geographic region is left behind.

Beyond the collective commitments made by G7 Leaders, as detailed in the Carbis Bay G7 Summit Communique, the United Kingdom has reaffirmed its commitment to phase out unabated coal power by 2024, committed to end in 2021 direct international government support for fossil fuels, and committed to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 and hybrids and plug-ins by 2035. Canada has reaffirmed its commitment to phase out unabated coal power by 2030, and also reaffirmed its commitment to no new financing for thermal coal plants, mines, or infrastructure abroad and confirmed that new or expanded thermal domestic coal mining does not align with Canada's climate plan. The European Union has reaffirmed its commitment to an immediate end to all financing of new coal infrastructure in third countries. France has reaffirmed its commitment to phase out unabated coal power by 2022 and reaffirmed its commitment to end direct international government support for oil by 2025 and for gas by 2035. France has also reaffirmed its commitment to end the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040. Germany has reaffirmed its commitment to phase out unabated coal power by 2038 at the latest and committed to an electric vehicle uptake target of 7-10 million by 2030, and has introduced a price on all emissions from the combustion of heating oil, natural gas, petrol and diesel. Italy has reaffirmed its commitment to phase out unabated coal power by 2025, and committed to electric vehicle phase-in targets of 4 million by 2025 and 6 million by the 2030s. India has reaffirmed its commitment to install 450GW of renewable energy by 2030 and reaffirmed the commitment for Indian Railways to become net zero carbon emissions by 2030. Japan announced a commitment to end direct new government support for unabated international thermal coal power generation by the end of 2021 and has committed to a target of full electrification in new passenger car sales by 2035. The Republic of Korea has joined the G7 in committing to stop public financing for new overseas coal fired power plants. South Africa has noted its aim to reduce dependence on coal from 89 per cent of its energy structure currently, to 59 per cent by 2030. The United States has committed to a domestic goal of Net Zero in the power sector by 2035 and to end direct new government support for unabated international thermal coal power generation by the end of 2021.

In their discussion, Leaders recognised the central role of businesses, workers, civil society and local governments in the transition and noted commitments made through the Race to Zero campaign, and called for more partners to join ahead of COP26.

Goal 2: Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats

The climate is already changing and it will continue to change even as we reduce emissions, with devastating impacts. At COP26 we need to work together to enable and encourage countries affected by climate change to: protect and restore ecosystems; build defences, warning systems and resilient infrastructure and agriculture to avoid loss of homes, livelihoods and even lives.

In Carbis Bay, Leaders shared views on the impacts of climate change already being experienced worldwide and committed to supporting vulnerable people, communities and natural habitats to adapt to and cope with the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss. The Presidency affirmed the Paris Agreements recognition that developing country partners are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. To support this effort, Leaders discussed the need to scale-up financial resources for adaptation action according to national plans (including National Adaptation Plans) and at local and sub-national levels. Further, Leaders recognised the important goal of "30by30" targets to conserve or protect at least 30 per cent of global land and 30 per cent of the global ocean by 2030, and supporting domestic targets according to national circumstances and approaches. CBD COP15 represents a once in a decade opportunity to determine a new Global Framework for Biodiversity, including new targets to 2030.

In support of adaptation to protect communities and natural habitats, the United Kingdom has submitted an Adaptation Communication and is a partner to the Risk-Informed Early Action Partnership (REAP) and the InsuResilience Global Partnership. To protect lives and tackle loss and damage caused by climate change, the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States have committed to a package of support. As part of this the United Kingdom and Germany have committed £120 million and €125 million of new financing respectively to deliver pre-arranged disaster risk finance for vulnerable communities through regional risk pools, contributing to REAP and InsuResilience Global Partnership protection targets. Under the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) the United Kingdom and India have jointly committed to promote climate resilient infrastructure through a new facility for Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Australia is an executive member of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), has committed to submit an Adaptation Communication before COP26, and has joined the Adaptation Action Coalition and the Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment (CCRI). Canada has joined the InsuResilience Global Partnership, the CDRI, the Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment (CCRI), has joined the Adaptation Action Coalition, and has committed to join and submit an Adaptation Communication before COP26. The European Union has joined the InsuResilience Global Partnership, and has committed to submit an Adaptation Communication before COP26 on behalf of its Member States (including France, Germany, Italy). France has joined the InsuResilience Global Partnership, and the REAP. Germany has joined the InsuResilience Global Partnership and has joined the REAP. Italy has joined the CCRI. As well as its commitments related to SIDS, India has joined the Adaptation Action Coalition. Japan has joined the InsuResilience Global Partnership, REAP and the steering committee for the Adaptation Action Coalition and has committed to submitting an Adaptation Communication, doing so before COP26 if feasible. On biodiversity, India and South Africa have noted the importance of ocean protection and the need for nations to act together. The United States has joined the InsuResilience Global Partnership, has joined REAP, and has committed to join and submit an Adaptation Communication before COP26. The United States has joined the Adaptation Action Coalition, has announced its support for CDRI's work, and has committed to new initiatives to transform energy systems and increase resilience for islands and remote communities, including strengthening SIDS' climate resilience capacity. Canada and the United Kingdom have joined the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) as full members. France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States, the European Union and India have joined ORRAA as observer members.

The United Kingdom has endorsed the Ocean Plastics Charter; the UK's £500 million Blue Planet Fund will support countries including Ghana, Indonesia and Pacific island states to tackle unsustainable fishing, protect and restore coastal ecosystems like mangroves and coral reefs, and reduce marine pollution. Australia has joined the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, is increasing financing for nature-based solutions to climate change, has committed $100 million to increase support for blue carbon initiatives and marine protection, has joined the G7 in affirming their support for the global "30by30" targets, and has supported making the Osaka Blue Ocean Vision universal and the development of a global agreement on marine plastic pollution. Canada is committed to planting an additional two billion trees over the next 10 years, and has spearheaded the Ocean Plastics Charter since its 2018 G7 Presidency. The European Union has endorsed the Ocean Plastics Charter and supported starting negotiations on a new global plastics agreement at the next meeting of the UN Environment Assembly. France has endorsed the Ocean Plastics Charter. Germany has endorsed the Ocean Plastics Charter. Italy has endorsed the Ocean Plastics Charter. India has joined the G7 in affirming their support for collective global "30by30" targets, and committed to achieving domestic land degradation neutrality and restoring 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030. Japan has engaged in making the Osaka Blue Ocean Vision universal, which includes the G20 Implementation Framework for Actions on Marine Plastic Litter. The Republic of Korea has also joined the G7 in affirming their support for collective global "30by30" targets by endorsing the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People.

Goal 3: Mobilising finance

To deliver on our first two goals, all finance must be aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Developed countries must make good on their promise to mobilise at least $100 billion in climate finance per year through to 2025 from public and private sources. Additionally, international financial institutions must play their part and we need work towards unleashing the trillions in private and public sector finance required to secure global net zero.

In Carbis Bay, Leaders discussed the essential need to scale up public and private climate finance, including for developed countries to mobilise $100 billion per year in climate finance for developing countries as committed in Copenhagen and reaffirmed in Paris. Within this context, Leaders confirmed the importance of scaling up finance for adaptation and nature, and improving the effectiveness and accessibility of climate finance. Leaders discussed how a green and climate resilient recovery could be achieved, noting that a transformed global financial sector is necessary to support this in all countries – and will play a major role in meeting global financing needs. Leaders agreed that mobilising finance requires a global effort led by developed countries and including the public and private sectors, and called on MDBs, IFIs and Developed Financial Institutions (DFIs) to increase finance for climate and nature, including private co-financing flows and ensure their policies and investments are Paris aligned by 2023 or sooner. Leaders called on MDBs, DFIs, and other public financial institutions to accelerate the development of solutions that mobilise private finance for mitigation, adaptation and resilience, and that support developing countries seeking to implement ambitious NDCs, climate resilience and climate-supportive economic policies. Leaders also supported the transformation underway to mobilise further private capital towards these objectives in particular to support developing countries and emerging markets in making the most of the opportunities in the transition; whilst mitigating and adapting to climate change.

In support of mobilising finance for developing countries and beyond the collective commitments detailed in the Carbis Bay G7 Summit Communique, Leaders have made the following specific commitments in order to increase and improve climate finance through to 2025: the United Kingdom will double its climate finance to £11.6 billion from 2021-2025 (compared to 2016-2020) to 2025, with roughly half for adaptation £3 billion of this for nature and all primarily grant based. Australia has reaffirmed its commitment to increase its climate finance by 50 per cent over five years, to AUD $1.5 billion, with a third going to Pacific Island countries. Canada has committed to a doubling of its climate finance to CAD $5.3 billion through to 2025, with an increased allocation toward grants of 40 per cent (this financing includes increased funding for adaptation, as well as biodiversity and nature-based solutions). The European Union has reaffirmed its intention to increase its climate finance to EUR €24 billion over 2021-27 and to work towards the ambition of providing 7.5% of its annual spending to biodiversity objectives in the year 2024 and 10% in 2026 and 2027. France has reaffirmed its commitment to €6 billion annually out to 2025 (up from €5 billion in 2020) with a third on adaptation, and with 30 per cent on biodiversity co-benefits by 2030. Germany prospectively announced to increase its climate financing from €4 billion to €6 billion per year by 2025 at the latest. Japan has committed to extend climate finance of JPY 6.5 trillion over the next 5 years, from 2021 to 2025 and to improve its quality, including further enhancing assistance for adaptation. The United States has pledged to double its public climate finance by 2024 to $5.7 billion, tripling adaptation finance and is increasing commitments through the International Development Finance Corporation and Millennium Challenge Corporation. The Presidency looks forward to further commitments from others well ahead of COP26, including scheduled commitments from Italy ahead of UNGA. The Republic of Korea will scale up its green ODA by 2025, and provide a $5 million Green New Deal trust fund to accelerate the green transition and carbon neutral economic growth of developing countries. To support the efforts of developing countries that have decided to transition away from unabated coal-fired power, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and the United States plan to commit up to $2 billion in the coming year to the Climate Investment Funds Accelerating the Coal Transition and Integrating Renewable Energy programs, which is expected to directly mobilise up to $10 billion in private finance.

Beyond the collective commitments made by G7 Leaders, as detailed in the Carbis Bay G7 Summit Communique, the United Kingdom has committed to mandatory disclosure in line with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) by 2025, with majority coverage by 2023. France is working with public and private partners to fast-track the greening of our economies through the framework of the One Planet Summits and has fully implemented the TCFD's recommendations with the publication in May 2021 of a regulation on the extra-financial transparency of financial market players. Japan has taken steps towards mandatory TCFD based disclosures for top listed companies. The United States has committed to develop a comprehensive government-wide strategy to identify and disclose climate-related financial risk.

Goal 4: Working together to deliver

We can only rise to the challenges of the climate crisis by working together. At COP26, the Presidency is clear that we must accelerate action and partnerships to tackle the climate crisis through collaboration between governments, businesses and civil society. Within the multilateral process, as incoming COP26 Presidency the UK is committed to facilitating agreement on the outstanding elements of the Paris Rulebook (the detailed rules that make the Paris Agreement operational) as part of an ambitious set of negotiated outcomes that leave no issue and no Party behind.

At Carbis Bay, Leaders discussed the importance of working together internationally to combat the dual challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss and of deepening collaboration to accelerate the development and deployment of green technology and nature-based solutions. Leaders discussed how best to collaborate on industrial decarbonisation, including through the new Industrial Decarbonisation Agenda, on aligning policy levers such as standard setting, investment support and procurement, working with wider initiatives and partners. Leaders also discussed how international collaboration, including through the Energy Transition Council, could support the new economic opportunities and sustained quality job creation offered by a just transition to clean energy in developing countries.

In support of international collaboration, the United Kingdom has signed the Leaders' Pledge for Nature. The UK has established and continues to co-chair, with Indonesia, the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) dialogue. Canada, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the Republic of Korea have also signed the Leaders' Pledge for Nature. The European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States are participating in the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) dialogue. Alongside G7 members, Australia, the Republic of Korea and India are supporting Mission Innovation (MI) 2.0 and the Clean Energy Ministerial (CMI) 3.0 to accelerate the pace of low emissions technology development and deployment. The United States will host the 2022 CEM and MI meetings and is spearheading several global technology innovation initiatives. India will hold the CEM and MI meetings in 2023. India, with the United Kingdom, has committed to launching a global Green Grids Initiative at COP26 alongside providing constructive leadership through the COP26 Zero Emission Vehicle Transition Council and the Energy Transition Council. India, as co-lead for the initiative, and the Republic of Korea have joined the G7 >members in endorsing the Super-efficient Equipment and Appliances Deployment initiative and its goal to double the energy efficiency of key energy using products sold globally by 2030.

IV. UK-Italy Joint Statement: five months to go to COP26

As we look from Carbis Bay to Glasgow in November, via the pre-COP in Milan in September and the G20 Summit in Rome in October, the UK and Italy are committed to working together and with all countries to increase global action on climate and nature, through our G7, G20 and COP26 Presidencies and beyond. Recognising that the avoided climate impacts are greater at 1.5°C than 2°C, the UK and Italy urge all countries to do their part and to take the steps that keep 1.5°C within reach. The UK and Italy affirm our strong and steadfast commitment to strengthening implementation of the Paris Agreement and to unleashing its full potential. At their discussions in Carbis Bay, and throughout this year, Leaders have made important commitments on global emissions, financing and adaptation to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. But significant further action is needed, and through the five months ahead of COP26, the UK and Italy will continue to work with all countries, to encourage ambitious commitments towards the four COP26 Presidency goals.

The UK and Italy intend to use our respective Presidencies to build momentum as we approach UNFCCC COP26 and CBD COP15. We are committed to an inclusive, ambitious COP26 and a comprehensive negotiated outcome, and call on all countries, businesses, civil society, citizens and other stakeholders to join us in stepping-up efforts. We encourage businesses to set science-based targets, including through the Race to Zero and Race to Resilience campaigns. Together, these actions will be crucial as we collectively seek to make 2021 a turning point for our planet.

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Source: Official Website of the G7 UK Presidency

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