CARBIS BAY: In a bid to counter China’s trillions of dollars Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the G7 leaders on Sunday finalized new conservation targets to curb climate change and urged an immediate action to safeguard the planet.
The leaders agreed to protect at least 30 per cent of land and ocean globally by the end of 2030. The three-day summit in Carbis Bay was hosted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson where G7 leaders held their first gathering in two years due to pandemic.
They committed to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by nearly splitting carbon emissions by 2030. The targets to make the planet of the future better includes the mandating use of unabated coal — fuel whose emissions have not gone through any filtering — as soon as possible. The targets also include ending government support for the fossil fuel sector overseas. Phasing out petrol and diesel cars has also been included in the targets.
Veteran environmentalist David Attenborough told the G7 leaders that the natural world was critically diminished with the spread of inequality. He said, “The question science forces us to address specifically in 2021 is whether as a result of these intertwined facts we are on the verge of destabilizing the entire planet?”
“If that is so, then the decisions we make this decade — in particular the decisions made by the most economically advanced nations — are the most important in human history.”
Johnson hailed the pact and said that G7 desired to bring a Green Industrial Revolution to transform the way of living. He maintained that reducing emissions, restoring nature, creating employment and ensuring long-term economic growth had a direct relationship.
Climate change was a key priority in the G7 summit as it tried to lay the groundwork for hosting the U.N. COP26 environment summit in November this year.
Before the pledges had even been formally adopted, the environmental campaigners criticized the leaders for lacking enforcement and the required scope.
Greenpeace U.K.’s executive director John Sauven said that rather than taking real action to tackle the climate emergency the British premier Johnson had simply repeated old promises and peppered his plan with hypocrisy.
He also noted that the richest nations of the world had a ‘dismal track record’ over the last decade honouring international climate finance commitments.
The G7, which includes Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, was keen to renew ties after the discordance of Donald Trump’s four years in power.
Now US President Joe Biden has committed to turning the page on his predecessor’s international isolationism. He seeks to open a new chapter in the Western alliance after Trump alienated and exasperated it at every turn.
Generally, the summit was largely consumed with the tough task of forging a more comprehensive response to the pandemic.
Leaders agreed to a declaration to help prevent future pandemics and are expected to commit to donating 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries.
However, critics argue that it provided just a meagre of what is required to immunize the world against the virus, which claimed approximately four million lives globally and is still producing new variants.
Gordon Brown, Britain’s former prime minister, termed the summit a missed opportunity and unforgivable moral failure. Brown told Sky News that we needed 11 billion vaccines but only got a plan for one billion, adding that the world needed allocation of $50 billion for vaccination but it had only $5 billion for the purpose. “Millions of people will go unvaccinated and thousands of people, I’m afraid, will die,” he concluded.