G7’s CLIMATE WISHLIST
The World Meteorological Organisation said the 1.5 degree Celsius threshold was likely to be breached, at least temporarily, over the next five years. It also said that at least one of the next five years was almost certain to become the warmest year on record.
A few other studies have suggested that this year, 2023, is on track to become the warmest ever, surpassing 2016. New research claims that the heat wave in India and some neighbouring countries last month was almost certainly due to climate change, the probability of its occurrence having been increased at least 30 times by global warming.
The G7 group has repeatedly acknowledged the urgency for effective climate action but offered little in terms of scaled-up action.
ORIGIN OF G7 & ITS COMPOSITION
- The origin of G7 lies in the oil shocks of 1973 and the corresponding financial crisis.
- In order to address the situation after the oil shock, the heads of the world’s six leading industrial nations decided to hold a meeting in 1975.
These six nations were – US, UK, France, Germany (West), Japan and Italy.
- These countries were joined by Canada in 1976 and G7 came into existence.
- In 1998, Russia was formally inducted in the group, which transformed G7 into G8. However, Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. As a result, it was suspended from the grouping. Hence, the group became G7 again in 2014.
- The European Union is also represented within the G7.
- As of 2020, G7 accounts for over half of global net wealth (at over $200 trillion), 30 to 43% of global GDP and 10% of the world’s population.
THE G7 CLIMATE MINISTERS MEETING
- The meeting of the group of rich and developed nations with the economic heft to create the necessary momentum for global change, presents the latest example of the response gap.
- In its final communique (in Hiroshima, Japan), the G7 listed a set of milestones that need to be achieved for a realistic chance of containing the global rise in temperatures to within 1.5 degree Celsius.
- Seeking a global peak in GHG emissions by 2025:
- The G7 claimed that their emissions had already “peaked”, and asked all major economies to ensure that their individual emissions do not continue to rise beyond 2025.
- “Major economies” is not defined, but in the context of climate change, it usually includes countries like India, China, Brazil, South Africa, and Russia.
- Net-zero by 2050:
- According to scientific claims, the world as a whole must become net zero by mid-century in order to meet the 1.5C target.
- The G7 reiterated its commitment to turn net-zero by 2050, and asked all ‘major economies’ to attain net-zero status by that year and to come up with detailed road maps to reach the target.
- Accelerating the phase-out of “unabated fossil fuels” in line with 1.5C trajectories:
- G7 said that they would eliminate “inefficient fossil fuel subsidies” by 2025.
- For example, the G7 claimed they had stopped financing new fossil fuel-based energy projects “except in limited circumstances”. These circumstances include the need to end the dependence on Russian gas.
With fast changing technologies, and rapid adoption of cleaner sources of energy, the situation could alter significantly over the next decade.