G7 leaders commit to countering climate change

The G7 leaders June 11 on a beach in Carbis Bay, England. Leaders from left: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, European Council President Charles Michel, U.S. President Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Fre

The United States joined other leading industrialized nations in the Group of Seven to announce new measures to tackle climate change, both at home and abroad.

Through the new Build Back Better World (B3W) Partnership, the G7 nations — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States — will work together to end government support for unabated coal generation overseas. Unabated generation is power produced using coal without technological limits on harmful emissions.

“Transitioning the world to cleaner energy sources is urgent,” President Biden said on June 13 at a press conference after the leaders met. “It’s essential if we’re going to beat the climate.”

For the first time, the G7 leaders aligned their long- and short-term climate goals to keep the 1.5 degrees Celsius global-warming threshold within reach. They also agreed to conserve or protect 30% of global land and marine areas by 2030.

B3W Partnership

In addition to these steps, the G7 leaders launched a new global infrastructure initiative, the Build Back Better World (B3W) Partnership.

The world’s major democracies will lead this infrastructure partnership. It will address the $40 trillion infrastructure need in the developing world.

“We believe that will not only be good for the countries, but it’ll be good for the entire world and represent values that our democracies represent, and not autocratic lack of values,” President Biden said.

The partnership’s planning will accord with the Paris Climate Agreement. Any infrastructure developed in low- to middle-income countries will be sustainable and aimed at empowering women and girls.

Windmills on Stetson Mountain, Maine, in 2009. Wind and solar are two clean, sustainable energy sources. (© Robert F. Bukaty/AP Images)

Transitioning away from coal

The G7 will deploy environmentally friendly technologies to address coal emissions, the largest single contributor to climate change around the world.

“We also made a historic commitment to permanently eliminate the use of our public finance to support unabated coal projects around the world,” said President Biden, “and to end them by this year.”

Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States pledged to provide the Climate Investment Fund with up to $2 billion to support the transition from coal to clean energy in developing countries. That organization is expected to mobilize about $10 billion in additional funding from the multilateral development banks, development finance institutions and the private sector.

President Biden is working to make the United States free from carbon-pollution electricity by 2035.