G7 leaders commit to ambitious climate targets

2015-06-08 18:52
Angela Merkel (AP)

Angela Merkel (AP)

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Elmau - The leaders of the world's advanced economies agreed Monday for the first time to binding targets to address climate change.

The leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) pledged to phase-out fossil fuel use over the course of the century and to set a 2°C global warming target.

"We see the need for the decarbonisation of the world economy," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, adding that G7 nations are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions between 40 and 70% by 2050, as recommended by United Nations experts.

Agreeing to binding targets has eluded the international community for decades, despite a scientific consensus and growing support from voters for action from the world leaders.

"There was no one country that presented a problem," Merkel said, following the two-day summit in southern Germany of the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Italy and Japan.

There were concerns ahead of the summit that Merkel might encounter resistance to her climate agenda from Canada and Japan.

The agreement represented a significant win for Merkel, who had joined French President Francois Hollande in calling on the G7 leaders to back tough action in order to secure a climate deal at an interntional conference in Paris later this year.

Both Merkel and Hollande are keen to avoid a repeat of a 2009 climate conference in Copenhagen, which ended in disarray and was seen as a setback for attempts to address global warming.

"This marks a welcome return to international leadership on climate change," said Christoph Schott, from the environmental group Avaaz, referring to Merkel.

As a former environment minister and a trained scientist, Merkel has supported action on climate change through most of her political career.

Read more on:    g7  |  angela merkel  |  germany  |  climate change

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