G7 puts the end of fossil fuels on the global agenda, now for more action to get us there

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Bonn, Germany - June 8, 2015 -  Climate Action Network (CAN) members commented today on what the groundbreaking call to decarbonise the global economy this century coming out of the G7 meeting means for UN climate negotiations. 

The UN climate talks currently underway in Bonn are designed to push forward a new global agreement on climate change due to be signed in Paris this December.

The first week of talks made slow progress, but proceedings received an injection of energy today when all countries acknowledged the need to speed up the pace and called for the co-chairs managing the discussions to work on a new draft of the agreement.

CAN members made the following comments:

"The G7 leaders today declared that the global economy must be decarbonised this century if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. This is yet another signal that the end of the fossil fuel era is inevitable, and the dawning of the age of renewables is unstoppable. Now G7 countries must increase the ambition of their domestic climate plans, so as to do their fair share of meeting this global goal.  Meanwhile, in the negotiations here in Bonn, countries today acknowledged the need to step up the pace of efforts to craft a streamlined, manageable text that outlines clear options for the post-2020 climate agreement due to be adopted in Paris this December.  There was an unprecedented, united call by countries -- the likes of which I have not seen in my 26 years of following this process -- for the co-chairs who are managing these negotiations to put forward their own draft text later this week. This is essential to enable ministers meeting in Paris next month to give political guidance on key issues in the negotiations, such as ambition, fairness, transparency and finance." Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy, Union of Concerned Scientists.

"The course is right, but more speed, ambition and specific actions are needed. Developing countries are ready to move fast and far on renewables, but they need finance and technology from rich countries to do it. We need to see more of these concrete commitments for immediate action. We also want to see them shifting investment towards low-carbon technologies in their own countries." Samantha Smith, leader of WWF's Global Climate and Energy Initiative.

"Elmau delivered. At the close of the G7 discussion today in Elmau the vision of a 100% renewable energy future is starting to take shape while spelling out the end of coal. The heavy lifting for German Chancellor Angela Merkel will begin when she returns to Berlin and has to present a plan for complete phase-out of the dirtiest energy source, coal. Then she would live up to her name as the ‘climate chancellor'."Martin Kaiser, Greenpeace international climate politics lead.

"Heading into the G7 summit Chancellor Merkel’s announcement that Germany will double its climate finance contribution to $4 billion was big news for the developing world. We saw this as a positive benchmark that could have been a game-changer. Unfortunately, other G7 leaders missed the opportunity during their summit in Elmau to reach the bar set by Germany. Their acknowledgement of the need to provide climate finance after 2020 was an improvement on previous positions but we urgently need a roadmap to the pledged $100billion. These countries still have plenty of opportunity between now and Paris to step up to the plate." Anoop Poonia, CAN South Asia 

"Japan clearly tried to play a spoiling game at the G7, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel's leadership shone through. The experience should prove to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that his position on climate and coal is at odds with the rest of the leaders. He should reconsider its position in run up to the Paris Climate Talks in December." Kimiko Hirata, CAN Japan coordinator.  

"G7 leaders still aren't spelling out how they will keep their $100bn promise by 2020. They've failed to commit to increase public funds, which is a vital foundation for success in Paris at the end of the year. Developing countries need a credible financial roadmap, not a set of accounting tricks. Thankfully Angela Merkel has bucked the trend. Her pledge to double climate finance from Germany has set the bar for the others - now the rest must follow suit. Currently rich countries provide just 2% of what poor countries need to adapt to a changing climate." Tim Gore, Oxfam policy lead climate and food.
 

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 900 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from over 100 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.www.climatenetwork.org  

Contact: Ria Voorhaar, CAN International, email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org, phone: +49 157 3173 5568

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