The race is on: governments must convert G7 words into clear and strong policy and action

Posted on 13 June 2021

WWF International statement on the conclusions of the G7 meeting held in the UK

A WWF spokesperson said:


“WWF welcomes the renewed ambition demonstrated by leaders to be net zero and nature positive, and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 at the 2021 G7 Summit. The race is on to now turn these G7 Summit Communiqué and Nature Compact into concrete global and national decisions, transformative actions and policies that all government departments implement. G7 recognize the need to drastically increase financing for biodiversity, but outcomes from the summit show that there is a lack of concrete commitments with clear positive signal to the negotiations leading to COP15.

“While G7 countries have made progress to strengthen action on nature and climate change at this week’s summit with a new ‘Nature Compact’ initiative we are reaching a point of no return. Actions speak louder than words if we are going to meet the Paris Agreement standards and a net-zero emissions world, and adopt an ambitious and transformational global biodiversity framework to tackle nature loss ahead of the Climate COP26 and Nature COP15. This includes action plans to achieve a nature positive economy, address unsustainable food systems and encourage sustainable production, tackle deforestation and address the illegal wildlife trade.

“The G7 summit has provided plenty of signals of ambition, and Biden’s debut no doubt helps momentum, with the Nature Compact now providing a clear mandate for actions and policies across government and the climate finance and emissions commitments. But once again these must be converted into policy and action that can be implemented at pace to reach the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals for people and the planet to ensure a nature positive world by 2030, in order to abate the induced catastrophes the world is increasingly experiencing and will continue to unless we urgently transform our broken relationship with the natural environment. 

“Disappointingly the global health declaration announced at the summit does not go far enough to prevent future pandemics and merely focuses on preparation and reaction to them, which on its own assumes that all we can do is stop further spreading once an outbreak occurs. Leaders need to go further than this and address root causes of pandemics such as deforestation and high risk wildlife trade. The Nature Compact efforts to address drivers of pandemics should now be one of the central components of any pandemic treaty discussions.

“We count on the G7, the 89 leaders who endorsed the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature and the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People leaders to ensure the ambition is commensurate with addressing both climate and nature crises and help prevent future pandemics urgently. The race is now on to act now and make more ambitious and concrete financial commitments to secure a nature positive, net zero emissions and equitable world for people, planet and economies.”

Commenting on climate action Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF Global Lead Climate & Energy said the announcement by the seven countries with the world’s largest economies, is  welcome for the political momentum it brings, and their climate commitments. But these remain disappointingly short of what is needed, and most are not new.

"There is time, before the most important November meeting of the UN climate talks since Paris, for the G7 - and other countries - to follow through on the important commitments made, especially keeping the 1.5℃ global goal within reach; achieving net-zero as soon as possible but not later than 2050; committing to increase their 2030 climate targets; ending all international support to coal, and setting a clear date for eliminating fossil fuel subsidies. 

“We expect that by November, the G7 members will have stepped-up the climate efforts to match the abyss we are staring into. We need politicians to be single-minded about this unprecedented  challenge. 

“Their announcement on coal is the scale of action we need to see from world leaders. But in the glaring reality of unrelenting climate impacts, affecting mainly the most vulnerable countries and communities, we must be talking about ending exploration and mining of all fossil fuels as well as all fossil fuels subsidies, setting out a bolder date to do so. It must be clear to all now that all fossil fuels subsidies are inefficient. 

“We expect the G7 to strengthen their call for, and commitments to, cancelling all fossil fuels subsidies much earlier than 2025. We need to see specific plans to repurpose public finance to boldly accelerate the full deployment of renewable energy and nature-based solutions, all in a just transition to a new, climate- and nature-aligned economy. We are calling for leaders to create a Global Commission for Economy and Nature, acknowledging that economic prosperity is dependent on a healthy and diverse planet.

“Finally, we are talking about the richest countries shaping our future. These countries must follow-through with their commitments and do more  to provide desperately needed sustainable public finance and to leverage their collective power to mobilize the trillions. They must align all public finance towards a climate- and nature-positive, equitable global economy and firmly regulate private financial flows to that same direction.”
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Carbis Bay in Cornwall, UK, where the G7 Climate Leaders Summit ended today (13 June 2021).
© John Englart on Flickr