Global Environmental Justice Matters
G7 Promises Misaligned with Actions
By Robert Clinton, 2015-06-16
German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted world economic leaders at the 41st G7 summit in Bavaria last week, and walked away with head held high as both a champion for environmentalism and catalyst for increased sustainability from her fellow Group of Seven member countries. From June 6-8, heads of state from some of the Western world's premier nations discussed the continued stability of our world from social, economic, and environmental perspectives. Notably, all nations agreed to reduce their carbon footprints and eliminate the use of fossil fuels by the year 2100, a goal that is neither untimely nor implausible for some of the most developed countries in the world. Despite verbally committing to increasing their sustainability measures, though, Oxfam reports that five of the seven G7 member nations have actually increased their coal consumption since 2009. At current consumption rates, according to Let The Eat Coal: Why the G7 Must Stop Burning Coal To Tackle Climate Change And Fight Hunger, "G7 coal emissions will be responsible for total climate change-related costs in Africa of approximately $43 billion per year by the 2080s and $84 billion per year by the end of the century. This is sixty times what G7 countries give Africa in agricultural and rural development aid and more than three times what G7 countries give Africa in total bilateral aid. Global costs of G7 coal emissions will be $260 billion per year by the 2080s and $450 billion per year by the end of the century." The implications of current coal consumption by "developed" nations disproportionally harms Africa and other emerging states, and contributes to the overall disastrous climate change happening to our world. Read more, including Oxfam's analysis of what is at stake and their recommendations to G7 nations on reducing their coal consumption, here.
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