On Sunday, G7 leaders committed to take action against global warming and to protect biodiversity, but they failed to set a date to stop coal exploration. During the 47th G7 summit held in Cornwall, U.K., the leaders of the world’s most industrialized nations were expected to lead the way in curbing carbon emissions.
The G7 leaders promised to collectively cut emissions in half by 2030. They also agreed to stop international funding for coal projects that lack the proper technology to capture and store carbon dioxide by next year. But the failure to set a definite end date to coal burning has been interpreted as a weak link in the fight against the climate crisis.
The meeting was the first time that major industrialized nations have agreed to collectively slash their emissions by 2030. Together, the G7 countries contribute about one-quarter of the world’s carbon emissions. These countries have been under increasing pressure to take action in curbing climate change and to also offer support to developing countries in ending their reliance on fossil fuels.
The summit failed to meet expectations because the members did not commit to banning coal exploration or to increasing international funding to developing countries to address climate change. Observers argue that these failures will make it difficult for countries to convince China to cut its own growing coal use and to strike an international climate agreement at the United Nations Summit later this year.
“This was a moment when the G7 could have shown historic leadership, and instead they left a massive void,” said Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International, as reported by The New York Times.
Even though the leaders failed to make substantial progress, U.S. deputy national security adviser Daleep Singh praised President Joe Biden for his progress to address the climate crisis.
“President Biden has committed to tackling the climate crisis at home and abroad, rallying the rest of the world at the leader’s summit, G7, and beyond to reach for bold targets within the next decade,” Singh said.
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