Are we meeting our climate change commitments or are we letting the planet down?

The weak G7 climate commitments raises concerns about future COP26 success


We've all heard about the climate crisis, and none of us could get away from the Prime Minister’s trip to Cornwall for the G7 summit last month, but the outcomes of this important meeting of the biggest global powers, couldn’t have been more of a letdown. 

A lack of fresh finance to help developing countries adopt renewable energy and adapt to a warmer planet directly undermines the climate talks planned for November at the 26th UN Climate Conference of Parties (COP26). 

At the end of the G7 summit the UK agreed to: 

  • Support "a green revolution that creates jobs, cuts emissions and seeks to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees"  
  • Cut their climate-heating emissions to net-zero by 2050 
  • Halve their collective emissions by 2030 from 2010 levels 
  • Boost climate finance for developing nations 
  • Phase out funding for new coal-power plants overseas by the end of 2021 
  • Protect at least 30% of their land and oceans by 2030 
  • Acknowledging their “duty to safeguard the planet for future generations". 

But, despite these strong and ambitious goals, there lacked stronger targets for ending our consumption and demand of coal, oil and gas at home, and provided little clarity on how funds will be raised to support poorer countries adopt clean energy, with only Germany and Canada offering new money.

COP 26 in November 

Later this year the biggest climate conference in the world will be hosted in Glasgow, and UN powers will be tasked with finalising the rules for the full implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement. 

Without huge funding to support climate action, little will change. So the G7 leaders need to step up their commitments further still. Otherwise, we will see an important conference turn into  little more than  a time to talk shop with no real change for the planet.  

The urgency is there to do something now, before we pass the line that we cannot come back from. We are already seeing global extinction rates going through the roof, and habitat loss at an unprecedented scale. If we do not act now to reduce our emissions, much from the agriculture sector, our future generations will be living in a very different world. 

What are we doing? 

FOUR PAWS is dedicated to animal welfare. We know that factory farming and intensive agriculture is growing at an alarming rate, creating devasting impacts on animal welfare, the health of our planet and human health , as these systems are increasingly linked to deadly zoonotic diseases.   

We are working hard to hold the Government to account and demand to see the results of their actions so far, as well as maintain the pressure to ensure they uphold  the promises they made. 

We are also calling on the public to take the power back and make changes in your own lives. By swapping your beef burger for a plant-based alternative, you are taking a small step towards a huge impact for animals and the planet. If we all took one small step, collectively we are making a huge difference.  

So far, very few concrete outcomes have been achieved so it is up to us all to do our bit. Either changing our own lifestyle in a small way or helping FOUR PAWS put pressure on our political leaders to keep the commitment of a 1.5C temperature rise and ending our global reliance on coal. But with just five months until COP26, there is still a very long way to go and we grow every closer to time running out. 

Keep an eye on our blog for more updates on this conference, and our work to prevent climate change and animal suffering.

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Emily Wilson

Head of Programmes UK

Emily heads up the Campaigns Team at FOUR PAWS UK, managing our farming, wildlife and companion animal campaigns. She has worked for over a decade in conservation and animal welfare, protecting animals both in the UK and worldwide.

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