WASHINGTON (May 21, 2021)—Today, G7 Climate and Environment Ministers agreed on a number of new commitments, as reflected in a new Communiqué. G7 leaders will meet in June (11-13), where they can take this agenda further. G7 countries are responsible for about 27% of global greenhouse gas emissions and represent more than half of global GDP. They are also responsible for roughly 80% of climate finance flows from developed to developing countries.  

Following is a statement from Helen Mountford, Vice President of Climate and Economics at World Resources Institute:  

“This G7 Communiqué raises the bar on climate action for all major economies ahead of COP26 in November. Chief among these is the commitment by G7 countries to update 2030 climate targets and long-term strategies aligned with net-zero emissions by 2050, which is critical to keep the 1.5C temperature goal within reach. Notably, they also agreed to regularly update the long-term strategies in the future – essential for keeping pace with the latest science and market developments.  

“For the level of ambition shown today to be embraced more broadly, G7 leaders will need to supercharge their support for COVID-19 vaccination deployment in the Global South, as well as their climate finance pledges. 

“This Communiqué is the first time G7 countries have collectively committed to establishing concrete pathways to net-zero emissions by mid-century and to regularly updating these strategies. It also makes important commitments to reducing deforestation and advancing nature protection and restoration, including a focus on support for responsible supply chains. Another critical breakthrough is the commitment to take steps to stop the overseas financing of unabated coal by the end of this year. South Korea also recently took such a step, leaving China as the last major investor in overseas coal projects.  

“A new independent report produced at the request of the G7 President shows the overwhelming evidence that the transition to a net-zero emissions, climate-resilient world represents the greatest economic, business and commercial possibilities in modern times.  

“The gaping hole in climate finance pledges for developing countries remains a major hurdle in seizing this opportunity. The global climate finance target of $100 billion to be delivered annually from 2020 is currently off track. The G7 leaders meeting in June is the obvious moment for these countries to make a serious effort to close the finance gap. It’s not just about money, it’s about our survival, and it’s about trust, solidarity, and justice for the most vulnerable people on Earth.”