Climate Groups, Investors Lay Out Expectations for G7 Summit
While news coverage leading into the G7 summit in La Malbaie, Quebec today and tomorrow has focused on an international trade war instigated by Donald Trump, Climate Action Network-Canada (CAN-Rac) is out with a set of expectations for what the seven countries can do to drive the transition to a post-carbon economy.
A CAN-Rac media backgrounder lists seven expectations for the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and (just for the pro forma of it) the United States:
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- Reaffirming the momentum of the Paris Agreement and stepping up climate ambition;
- Providing sustainable finance for international climate action;
- Addressing the impact of climate change on the world’s oceans and building resilience in coastal communities;
- Phasing out fossil fuel subsidies;
- Driving a just transition for fossil work forces and economies;
- Fostering circular economy initiatives to reduce plastic and marine litter, and connecting the dots between plastics pollution and climate change;
- Eliminating coal and short-lived climate pollutants like black carbon and hydrofluorocarbons.
“The #G7 has a major responsibility to get the world on track for a low-carbon future. This year is Canada’s chance to be a leader and make that happen,” CAN-Rac tweeted.
“Last year, six of the #G7 countries reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris Agreement. This year, it’s time for them to set their sights on even more ambitious targets.”
CAN-Rac’s website contains more detailed postings on just transition and ocean governance, as well as recommendations from an energy and environment working group convened by the G7 Global Task Force.
On Wednesday, the CEOs of the Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board unveiled an institutional investors’ leadership initiative to strengthen international efforts on climate change, infrastructure, and gender equality, Bloomberg reports. The group will “promote gender diversity in capital markets, create an infrastructure fellowship program to help develop expertise in emerging and developing economies, and take steps to better recognize and report on the financial risks associated with climate change,” according to a federal government statement.
At present, investment capital is not “properly aligned with the principles of sustainable development, and we need to change that,” said federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna. “This is the start of something that we think is a bit different,” added Caisse de Dépôt CEO Michael Sabia.
The announcement came on the heels of a call from nearly 300 big institutional investors with almost $26 trillion in assets under management for the G7 to phase out coal-fired generation “with utmost urgency”. Leadership initiative participants “collectively manage more than C$6 trillion,” Bloomberg notes, and “will launch an infrastructure fellowship program, develop diversity policies, and set up an advisory committee on climate disclosure.”