G7 Environment Minister’s meeting calls for targeted efforts to reduce short-lived climate pollutants.

The meeting took place from September 18-21, 2018, under the theme of Climate Change, Oceans and Clean Energy.

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G7 Ministerial on Climate Change, Oceans and Clean Energy

G7 Environment Ministers meeting in Halifax, Canada, singled out short-lived climate pollutants as an area for urgent action and reduction opportunities to protect against climate change.

According to the Chair’s Summary: “Many Ministers emphasized that targeted efforts focused on air pollutants and short-lived climate pollutants will have multiple benefits to climate, human health, the economy, and to ecosystems” and recognized that “air quality is one of the biggest health and environmental risks”. Ministers committed to tackling air quality including though sharing best practices and lessons learned.

The Ministers also stated that “Collaboration in fora such as the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is essential as is continuing to work with our respective bilateral and regional partners”.

The meeting, under Canada’s 2018 G7 Presidency, called for urgent action on climate and for accelerated concrete action toward a low-carbon economy.

Recap of G7 ministerial meeting in Halifax

Recap of G7 ministerial meeting in Halifax
Recap of the Halifax Ministerial (video by the Government of Canada)

Urgent action on climate, particularly reducing warming in the near term through actions to reduce short-lived climate pollutants, can help protect communities most vulnerable to climate change, prevent dangerous climate feedbacks like arctic ice loss and thawing of permafrost, and support global sustainable development goals. Actions on near-term climate forcers must go hand-in-hand with global efforts to reduce carbon dioxide and move to a low carbon economy to protect the planet for future generations.

Ministers strongly emphasized that the Paris Agreement is irreversible, reaffirmed their commitment to its full and effective implementation and assured their support for completion of the Paris Agreement work programme at COP24 that is consistent with the Agreement.

The Talanoa Dialogue was also highlighted as a critical opportunity to take stock of collective efforts and to inform the preparation of updated nationally determined contributions to address the global emissions gap.

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Environment Ministers’ Meeting: Session 1 – Long-Term Economic Transitions to Low-Carbon Economy

It was also noted that the upcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels will provide valuable scientific information to inform climate action. The report will include chapters on how reducing short-lived climate pollutants like methane, black carbon, and hydrofluorocarbons, is necessary to limiting to 1.5˚C.

The meeting also focused on the critical role women play to realize climate change goals and sustainable development. Gender equality and women’s leadership were discussed across the agenda.

Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change said: “We know that women are disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change and we also know that they are part of the solution.”

G7 Ministers recognized that a transition toward a low-emissions economy represents a global opportunity, citing the findings of the 2018 report of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate that climate action represents an opportunity to create $26 trillion in economic growth and 65 million jobs by 2030. To seize this opportunity it was recognized that businesses require certainty including clear policies, rules and consistency around pricing.

The meeting was attended by the G7 countries: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.  Guest countries included: Jamaica, Kenya, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Norway, Seychelles, and Vietnam.

The meeting was hosted by Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, and the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources. 

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G7 and guest country Environment Ministers

Read the full statement here.

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