13 May 2015

G7 ministers ‘unprecedented consensus’ on COP21 climate deal

Energy ministers from the Group of Seven nations said on Tuesday there was unprecedented consensus between them on the urgency of achieving a strong global U.N. climate deal in Paris in December.

Around 200 U.N. member states will meet in Paris from 30 November for the COP21 Climate Change Conference with the aim of reaching a new global agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions and limit the rise in average global temperatures to 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

The energy ministers of G7, which includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the U.S., met for two days in the Hamburg.

They acknowledged that the group’s efforts should be focussed on supporting the climate deal, Sigmar Gabriel, German Economy and Energy Minister said: "I've never experienced so much agreement when it comes to the targets of G7 countries."

U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz said a strong agreement in Paris now seems more likely: "The prospects for Paris are remarkably better than six or seven months ago," Moniz said.

2009 climate negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark ended in disappointment with key differences arising between the United States and China.

G7 leaders are hoping that a successor to the Kyoto Protocol agreement can be achieved in Paris.

Germany has made climate change a key theme of its G7 presidency and has urged leaders to commit to ambitious emissions reduction targets at a summit in Elmau, Bavaria in June.

The European Union in March became the first major economy to agree to a target of an at least 40 per cent GHG reductions by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.

After the meeting in Hamburg, the ministers issued a joint statement pledging to improve energy security by diversifying power supplies and suppliers.

The ministers also promised to help address the energy security issues in Ukraine which has been embroiled in a pricing dispute with Gazprom resulting in a supply cut-off to Kiev last year.

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