Climate and energy sections of G8 statement
Below is the energy and climate section of the official G8 statement released on July 8, 2009. The full statement is online here (PDF).
Sustainable use of natural resources: climate change, clean energy and technology
60. The interlinked challenges of climate change, energy security and the sustainable and efficient use of natural resources are amongst the most important issues to be tackled in the strategic perspective of ensuring global sustainability. A shift towards green growth will provide an important contribution to the economic and financial crisis recovery. We must seize the opportunity to build on synergies between actions to combat climate change and economic recovery initiatives, and encourage growth and sustainable development worldwide.
61. Science clearly shows that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions – mainly produced by the use of fossil fuels – are provoking dangerous climate change, putting at risk not only the environment and ecosystem services but the very basis of our present and future prosperity. The costs of inaction far outweigh the costs of moving towards low-carbon societies. At the same time, stable and secure energy availability is indispensable for social and economic development; it is essential to ensure global energy security and energy access in developing countries, particularly the most vulnerable. Immediate and resolute action is needed by all countries to build on existing and new technologies and to design and deliver innovative economic, environmental and energy policies.
62. We emphasise the paramount importance of technology development and diffusion on a global scale in meeting these challenges and accelerating the economic recovery, while moving towards a low-carbon society. It is indispensable to encourage efficient markets, competitive frameworks and consistent public policies, to enhance investments in energy efficiency, clean technologies and renewable energies, which will in turn create opportunities for businesses worldwide. We will take the lead in accelerating the transition towards a low-carbon economy based on green, sustainable growth, reflecting the need to lower dependence on traditional energy sources. We reiterate the commitment made at the London Summit to make the best possible use of our fiscal stimulus programmes, also in light of the deliberations of the G8 Environment Ministerial in Siracusa and the G8 Energy Ministerial in Rome, and will ensure that such packages will contribute substantially towards building new, cleaner economies that will create new jobs and bring about a green and sustainable recovery. We call upon other countries to join us in this endeavour.
Climate change and environment
Fighting climate change 63. This is a crucial year for taking rapid and effective global action to combat climate change. We welcome the decision taken within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Poznan to enter full negotiating mode, in order to shape a global and comprehensive post-2012 agreement by the end of 2009 in Copenhagen, as mandated by the Bali Conference in 2007. We must seize this decisive opportunity to achieve a truly ambitious global consensus.
64. We reconfirm our strong commitment to the UNFCCC negotiations and to the successful conclusion of a global, wide-ranging and ambitious post-2012 agreement in Copenhagen, involving all countries, consistent with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. In this context we also welcome the constructive contribution of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate to support a successful outcome in Copenhagen. We call upon all Parties to the UNFCCC and to its Kyoto Protocol to ensure that the negotiations under both the Convention and the Protocol result in a coherent and environmentally effective global agreement.
65. We reaffirm the importance of the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and notably of its Fourth Assessment Report, which constitutes the most comprehensive assessment of the science. We recognise the broad scientific view that the increase in global average temperature above pre-industrial levels ought not to exceed 2°C. Because this global challenge can only be met by a global response, we reiterate our willingness to share with all countries the goal of achieving at least a 50% reduction of global emissions by 2050, recognising that this implies that global emissions need to peak as soon as possible and decline thereafter. As part of this, we also support a goal of developed countries reducing emissions of greenhouse gases in aggregate by 80% or more by 2050 compared to 1990 or more recent years. Consistent with this ambitious long-term objective, we will undertake robust aggregate and individual mid-term reductions, taking into account that baselines may vary and that efforts need to be comparable. Similarly, major emerging economies need to undertake quantifiable actions to collectively reduce emissions significantly below business-as-usual by a specified year.
66. We recognize that the accelerated phase-out of HCFCs mandated under the Montreal Protocol is leading to a rapid increase in the use of HFCs, many of which are very potent GHGs. Therefore we will work with our partners to ensure that HFC emissions reductions are achieved under the appropriate framework. We are also committed to taking rapid action to address other significant climate forcing agents, such as black carbon. These efforts, however, must not draw away attention from ambitious and urgent cuts in emissions from other, more long-lasting, greenhouse gases, which should remain the priority.
Promoting the role of markets to reduce emissions
67. We believe that efficient markets, including carbon markets, supported by stable and predictable regulatory frameworks, are central to achieving these objectives. A wide range of competitive instruments and mechanisms, such as emissions trading schemes and performance-based regulation, constitute some of the most flexible and cost-effective means to foster economically sound investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean and innovative technologies. Other measures, including, where appropriate, incentives, fees, emission and other taxes, progressive reduction of fossil fuel subsidies, consumer labelling, innovative financing mechanisms and public-private partnerships, designed and applied consistently with our international obligations, can also be useful in the context of policies that promote green and sustainable development models and accelerate the transition towards a low carbon society.
68. The elimination or reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade in environmental goods and services is essential to promote the dissemination of cleaner low-carbon energy technologies and associated services worldwide. Efforts should be intensified to ensure a successful outcome of the ongoing WTO negotiations on the liberalisation of environmental goods and services. Carbon leakage is an important issue to tackle. It must be addressed in a WTO compatible way. We support the aim of a comprehensive global agreement at Copenhagen, which we believe to be the most appropriate way to deal with any carbon leakage issues that may arise.
69. We support flexible, economically sound market-based approaches to emission reductions. In particular, cap & trade schemes, where implemented, have proved largely successful and improved understanding of the potential advantages, critical issues and indicators. The use of market mechanisms, including those under the Kyoto Protocol, provides opportunities to reduce emissions cost-effectively, while facilitating technology diffusion, low-carbon development and the involvement of emerging and developing countries. With a view to building on these experiences and to facilitate action under the global post 2012 agreement, we commit to:
a) further explore, taking into account national circumstances, the potential of carbon trading systems and their possible linkages;
b) cooperate among us and with other countries to expand carbon markets to the extent possible and reduce costs and align emission allowance trading schemes, with a view to developing transparent carbon markets which would expand to involve emerging and developing countries, including on a sectoral basis;
c) support the development, reform and enhancement of project, programmatic and policy-based offset mechanisms, including the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), in order to encourage their use, enhance their effectiveness and environmental integrity, and facilitate actions from developing countries under the global, post-2012 agreement;
d) work with others to further develop market mechanisms under the Copenhagen agreement to possibly include sectoral trading and sectoral crediting mechanisms, to enhance the participation of emerging economies and developing countries in the market ensuring environmental integrity.
70. The private sector will continue to be an essential player in the efforts to address climate change. To trigger a change in direction and mobilise investments we will engage the private sector more actively, in order to bring its expertise into the international framework and enhance information exchange and partnerships between Governments and businesses.
71. Sectoral approaches can be useful tools to facilitate progressive involvement by emerging economies and reinforce economy-wide mitigation policies of developed countries. Analysis has highlighted the potential to curtail emissions by focusing on specific sectors and we welcome the ongoing work of the International Energy Agency (IEA) and others in this respect. 72. Attention should also be devoted to sectors, such as international aviation and maritime transport, that represent a significant and growing source of emissions and are characterised by a predominantly international dimension. We will use our participation in ICAO, IMO and UNFCCC processes to reach an agreed outcome for the post-2012 period to rapidly advance towards accelerated emission reductions for the international aviation and maritime sectors.
Technology development and research
73. The development and deployment of technologies and know-how in developed and developing countries will play a crucial role both in mitigation and adaptation to climate change and in moving towards low-carbon growth models. It is essential to substantially improve energy and resource efficiency in key sectors, as well as to develop and disseminate low-carbon technologies, in particular renewable energy. In this context, we stress the critical role of an efficient system of intellectual property rights (IPR) to foster innovation. Capitalizing on new technologies will require a major scientific effort and policy initiatives. Building on our existing commitments to urgently advance the development and deployment of clean energy technologies, consistent with existing international obligations, we will:
a) encourage and facilitate the development, deployment and diffusion, particularly through the engagement and leveraging of critical private sector investment, of advanced appropriate technologies in emerging and developing economies, which permit a technological leap and avoid lock-in;
b) further promote international participation and cooperation in R&D activities and to this end we invite the IEA to further define its proposal for an international low-carbon energy technology platform;
c) promote technology roadmaps, such as those being prepared by the IEA, to further the development and demonstration of innovative technologies;
d) work with developing countries to build capacity to support the deployment, diffusion, demonstration and transfer of climate friendly technologies.
74. Recognising the importance of research and development, we committed in Toyako to increase investment in basic and applied clean technology research and development. We will intensify such efforts and explore options to enhance global technology cooperation. We ask our experts to assess progress in meeting these commitments, and report back by our meeting in Canada in 2010. We will promote further national and international fundamental research on the earth’s climate. We believe that provisions on financing technology research, development, deployment and diffusion should form an integral part of the post-2012 agreement.