The 28 countries that comprise the G7 have just come under pressure from the new COP24 summit of UN climate change talks. The G7 member states are “very far apart” from where their predecessors are at the moment, which is part of the reason why the United Nations summit is going well, Narsing Rao, Executive Director of the Asia Pacific Climate Partnership, said.
The G7 countries – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the United States – want to move away from fossil fuels, but come to the COP to mark the end of a full-scale discussion. Also working against them is the fact that governments are still spending huge amounts of money on fossil fuel production.
“At COP24 in Katowice, Poland, we have a host of governments saying we can make a deal together, but don’t blame us if it fails. If you expect a deal, you’ve got to agree to terms that the other parties will be able to do the same,” says John Coast, a climate change expert at the Aussie Academy of Science.
The EU as a whole agreed to shift off fossil fuels by 2040, while the US pledged to have its emissions cut by 27% from 2005 levels by 2025. India and China are taking huge steps in that direction, but the Australian government is in no position to change its own path.
The fact that some governments think they have little to lose is one sign of hope, but we still need to significantly change the way we use energy to stay within the two degrees of warming scientists say will threaten life on Earth.