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G7 nations agree fresh targets to fight climate, nature crises

·2-min read

On the final day of a G7 summit in England, leaders of the world’s biggest economies have backed new conservation and emission targets to tackle the climate and biodiversity crises.

Under a so-called "Nature Compact”, the G7 nations on Sunday committed to nearly halve their carbon emissions this decade, and to protect at least 30 percent of both land and ocean globally.

The countries also adopted strict measures on coal-fired power stations, and agreed to ramp up funding to meet an overdue spending pledge of $100 billion a year to help poorer countries reduce their own emissions.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who hosted the event, said the G7 wanted to drive a global green industrial revolution that would “transform the way we live”.

Climate a priority

Climate change policy got top billing as leaders held their first in-person G7 summit in nearly two years.

British natural historian Sir David Attenborough, who addressed the leaders on Sunday via video link, described their decisions as "the most important in human history”.

He warned that humans could be "on the verge of destabilising the entire planet”, with global warming and loss of biodiversity “beyond doubt”.

Attenborough said that while humans already had the skills to tackle climate change, global political will was still needed.

Angry campaigners

Hundreds of environmental activists travelled to Cornwall, where the three day summit was held, to demand tough action on climate.

The campaign group Greenpeace said the track record of rich nations in honouring their commitments was "dismal”, accusing leaders of failing to take proper action to tackle both the climate crisis and the pandemic.

“Everyone is being hit by Covid-19 and worsening climate impacts, but it is the most vulnerable who are faring the worst due to G7 leaders sleeping on the job," said Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International.

"We need authentic leadership and that means treating the pandemic and the climate crisis for what they are: an interconnected inequality emergency."

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