Final communiqué: G8 leaders ‘strongly committed’ to delivering global climate change

Despite not being on the agenda as a topic of discussion at the G8 in Ireland this week, in the final communiqué, leaders expressed their commitment to tackling climate change, acknowledging that it is a ‘contributing factor in increased economic and security risks globally’.

Having faced strong criticism for its failure to include climate change on the agenda, the final communiqué nonetheless dedicates a page to climate change stating that ‘it is one of the foremost challenges for our future economic growth and wellbeing’.

We note with grave concern the gap between current country pledges and what is needed and will work towards increasing mitigation ambition in the period to 2020.

In acknowledging the slow progress of climate change action globally, the communiqué states that leaders will work with a raft of international groups to accelerate action on climate change, including the UNFCCC, the Major Economies Forum, Climate and Clean Air Coalition, which aims to reduce emissions of short-live climate pollutants, and the International Civil Aviation Organisation and International Maritime Organisation, both of which are currently working on proposals for new carbon pricing regimes.

We remain strongly committed to addressing the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly by 2020 and to pursue our low-carbon path afterwards, with a view to doing our part to limit effectively the increase in global temperature below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, consistent with science.

Leigh Stringer, writing on the summit for edie.net, says that in considering the means to better respond to the climate change challenge and its associated risks, ‘international climate policy and sustainable economic development are mutually reinforcing’.