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G7 to agree climate and conservation targets as summit ends

Boris Johnson said the G7 wanted to “drive a global Green Industrial Revolution to transform the way we live”.

Protestors take part in an XR protest in Kimberley Park in Falmouth, during the G7 summit in Cornwall.
Protestors take part in an XR protest in Kimberley Park in Falmouth, during the G7 summit in Cornwall.
Image: PA

G7 LEADERS ARE to back new conservation and emission targets to curb climate change, and finalise collective action on several other fronts, as they wrap up a three-day summit aimed at showcasing revived Western unity.

The group of leading economies, holding their first in-person gathering in nearly two years due to the coronavirus pandemic, will agree to protect at least 30% of both land and ocean globally by the end of the decade.

The ‘Nature Compact’ struck to try to halt and reverse biodiversity loss is also set to see them commit to nearly halve their carbon emissions by 2030, relative to 2010.

It includes mandating the use of only so-called clean coal for power “as soon as possible”, ending most government support for the fossil fuel sector overseas and phasing out petrol and diesel cars.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson – who is hosting the beachside summit in Cornwall, southwest England – said the G7 wanted to “drive a global Green Industrial Revolution to transform the way we live”.

“There is a direct relationship between reducing emissions, restoring nature, creating jobs and ensuring long-term economic growth,” he added, in remarks released ahead of the summit’s conclusion.

Climate change was a key G7 priority for his government, as it tries to lay the groundwork for hosting the UN COP26 environment summit in Glasgow in November.

But before the pledges had even been formally adopted, environmental campaigners blasted them as lacking enforcement and the necessary scope.

“Despite the green soundbites, Boris Johnson has simply reheated old promises and peppered his plan with hypocrisy, rather than taking real action to tackle the climate and nature emergency,” said Greenpeace UK’s executive director John Sauven.

He also noted wealthy nations had a “dismal track record” over the last decade honouring international climate finance commitments.

g7-summit Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) next to US President Joe Biden (centre) and French President Emmanuel Macron in Carbis Bay, during the G7 summit. Source: PA

Meanwhile, naturalist David Attenborough has said G7 leaders face some of the most important decisions in human history as they tackle the climate change crisis.

The environmentalist will address the leaders gathered in Cornwall today as they set out their plans to reverse biodiversity loss and to fund infrastructure development around the world.

Attenborough will deliver a message to the G7, plus guests Australia, India, South Korea and South Africa, at a session on climate and nature.

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In advance of the session, he said: “The natural world today is greatly diminished. That is undeniable.

“Our climate is warming fast. That is beyond doubt. Our societies and nations are unequal and that is sadly plain to see.

“But 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 destabilising 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.”

Contains reporting by Press Association 

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