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G7 sends powerful message on climate change

In their declaration following the G7 summit this weekend, leaders stressed their determination to adopt a legal instrument to ensure global warming is limited to 2 degrees Celsius – “The agreement should enhance transparency and accountability including through binding rules at its core to track progress towards achieving targets, which should promote increased ambition over time.

This should enable all countries to follow a low-carbon and resilient development pathway in line with the global goal to hold the increase in global average temperature below 2 °C”. This agreement sets the G7 members on a solid path to Paris. On the occasion, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “We do not want commitments made in Elmau to end up mere lip service but to deliver in Paris. We had a common understanding (at G7) that we will need binding climate targets. The road between Elmau and Paris is not long. The words at Elmau must now materialise into concrete actions in Paris.”

According to the European Commission, the EU has already made a strong commitment and is leading by example with its goal of cutting emissions by 40% compared with 1990. The EU wants to see a legally binding deal in Paris to ensure that it has teeth. Europe has a track record of putting in place the laws and policies that deliver for the climate and it has shown that action speaks louder than words; thanks to EU collective action, EU emissions declined by 19% while GDP grew by 45% between 1990 and 2013.

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