G7 climate action pledged

The beautiful natural scenery of the Cornish coast provided a fitting place for the G7 summit to announce pledges on climate change and reaffirmation of $100bn a year to help developing nations cut emissions.

The original $100bn pledge was not met – due to COVID – and indeed aid for climate issues will be affected by the needs of finance for pandemic recovery in poorer areas too. Not that any of this delicate balancing will cut much ice with climate lobbying groups.

None-the-less the pledge remains, and the G7 have set some ambitious targets to stop coal use. Originally led by the UK, the G7 now has a commitment to phase out coal in its own countries and stop financing coal overseas. Moves that will put pressure on China to follow, and in addition up to £2bn will be offered to developing nations to stop using the coal.

China, a sort of Banquo's Chair in the proceedings, also figures in a plan to help finance renewable energy and railways in developing nations to counterbalance China's Belt and Road logistics project.

All G7 countries have also agreed to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles, although not all have followed the UK’s example and set an actual date for this.

In all, the summit could be said to have moved the ratchet up a notch but has nor delivered the leap forward that some had hoped for. All eyes will now be on COP26 to fill in some of the details and raise the ambition just that bit more.

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