For most G-7 countries, a larger coal footprint since Copenhagen

By Anna Patricia Valerio 15 June 2015

G-7 leaders during this year’s summit in Schloss Elmau, Germany. According to an Oxfam report, five of the G-7 countries have increased their coal footprint since the U.N. Climate Change Conference in 2009. Photo by: Bundesregierung / Gottschalk

As the G-7 summit wrapped up last week, one of the highlights that emerged was German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s call for G-7 countries to commit themselves to the $100 billion needed to mobilize climate finance for developing countries.

Ranking among the top climate aid donors, Germany is in a position to trumpet this invitation. According to project-level data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, climate aid from G-7 countries reached $15 billion in 2013. Of this amount, $4 billion came from Germany.

G-7 countries’ climate aid leans heavily toward mitigation.

But as Charlene Watson and Smita Nakhooda, research officer and research fellow, respectively, for climate and environment at the Overseas Development Institute, have pointed out, raising money is not the only task for G-7 countries. For efforts to combat climate change to become entrenched, an even more long-term look toward phasing out high-carbon investments has to be in place.

For many G-7 countries, perhaps this is an even bigger challenge. An Oxfam report released in time for the G-7 summit shows that five of the G-7 countries — France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom — have increased their coal consumption since the 2009 U.N. Climate Change Conference, or the Copenhagen summit.

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About the author

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Anna Patricia Valerio

Anna Patricia Valerio is a Manila-based development analyst focusing on writing innovative, in-the-know content for senior executives in the international development community. Before joining Devex, Patricia wrote and edited business, technology and health stories for BusinessWorld, a Manila-based business newspaper.

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