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Biarritz Chair's Summary on Climate, Biodiversity and Oceans
Biarritz, France, August 26, 2019
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1. The Presidency organized a dedicated session of the G7 under the theme of "Climate, Biodiversity and Oceans", with the participation the Leaders of Australia, Burkina Faso, Chile, Egypt, India, Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa, alongside the United Nations Secretary-General, the World Bank President, the OECD Secretary-General, the African Union Commission Chairperson, and the African Development Bank President.
2. The Presidency underlined that this session was convened in the coastal city of Biarritz where local and civil society actors are especially mobilized for the protection of the planet and the oceans. Their commitments, stated in the Ocean for solutions Declaration and the Ocean Call, reflect their growing sense of urgency, to face systemic environmental challenges and a climate crisis, which poses existential risks for natural and human systems alike. The Presidency highlighted that science has repeatedly provided strong evidence that call for urgent action. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, approved in Paris on 4 May 2019, considers changes in land and sea use, climate change, and pollution as some of the main drivers of biodiversity loss while the IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land approved in Geneva on 7 August2019 emphasizes the interlinked challenges of global warming, land management, food security and diets, and the subsequent mitigation and adaptation policy responses to be considered.
3. In this context, the Presidency recalled that climate change, biodiversity loss, and ocean and land degradation were three interconnected key global challenges that threaten peace, security, development, health and economic stability, especially in the most vulnerable countries. While recognizing the differences in approach, the Presidency stated that the G7 and its partners have the capacity to ambitiously lead on these pressing issues, while acknowledging that each country may chart its own path to achieving energy transition and a low-emission future as soon as possible to hold the increase in the global average temperature well below 2°C and as much as possible at 1.5°C. The Leaders discussed the importance of promoting economic growth and shared prosperity and ensuring more equal access to low-emission, efficient, affordable, and reliable energy in line with individual nations' climate goals and low-emission strategies and the protection of the environment and the oceans.
4. The Leaders were briefed by the UN Secretary-General on the Climate Action Summit he will be hosting on 23 September 2019, which has the objective of scaling up climate action and climate finance, including provision of means of implementation to developing countries, toward low-emission and climate-resilient development and ecosystems protection in line with the commitments taken under the Paris Agreement. In that context, the Presidency noted that several countries involved already expressed their willingness to increase the collective ambition of their nationally determined contributions (NDC) under the Paris Agreement by 2020, building on the momentum of COP25, in Chile and taking into account that further global efforts are needed. Leaders were informed that this COP will give a prominent role to the protection of oceans, stress the key role of science and underscore the need for a multi-stakeholder approach, with a strong focus on adaptation measures, including by the private sector and civil society. The role of the NDC Partnership in supporting developing and emerging market economies in implementing their NDCs and raising ambition was recognized by several Leaders. Several G7 countries announced ambitious contributions to help replenish the Green Climate Fund, reaching an overall amount of USD 5.5 billion. Others are in the process of finalizing their contributions. Together they called on others to contribute to a successful and substantive first replenishment that enhances the Fund's impact. The Leaders reaffirmed the importance of accelerating the virtuous cycle of environment and growth through innovations and leading transformations to a resilient, inclusive, and sustainable future, as recently agreed in the G20 Osaka Leaders' Declaration.
5. In line with these challenges, several initiatives were discussed, such as the mobilisation of the International Development Finance Club (IDFC) and the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) toward low-carbon and resilient development pathways and the Carbon Neutrality Coalition, aimed at developing long-term strategies to progressively achieve carbon neutrality.
6. Biodiversity protection and ocean conservation were also at the heart of the discussions, as the life, well-being, food security and economic prosperity of humankind rely on the health and sustainable use of oceans and land. Leaders endorsed the G7 Metz Charter on Biodiversity and committed to take swift action on biodiversity, either individually or jointly, in the run up to COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity. In continuation of the previous work done under the G7 and G20, the Leaders acknowledged the urgency to preserve marine and terrestrial ecosystems, including through nature-based solutions and circular economy, and to continue the fight against marine litter, as well as the need to promote innovation and improve waste management as key tools to reduce marine litter. The Leaders welcomed the recent adoption of the Osaka G20 Blue Ocean Vision and Implementation Framework for Actions on Marine Plastic Litter. The Presidency underlined the importance of concluding a robust and ambitious UN Treaty for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biodiversity in Areas Beyond National Jurisdictions.
7. The Leaders welcomed the aim of the IUCN World Conservation Congress, which will be meeting in June 2020 in Marseille, to improve how we manage our environment for sustainable human, social and economic development. They look forward to COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming, China, in October 2020.
8. The Leaders acknowledged the importance of the 14th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, to be held in New Delhi from 29 August to 13 September 2019 and underline the importance of halting future degradation, rehabilitating degraded land. Thus, the Leaders recalled the importance of implementing strategic sustainable land management, including through efforts to combat desertification, land degradation and drought, and to achieve biodiversity and ecosystems protection. The work of the InsuResilience Global Partnership, building on the 2015 Elmau Summit, was also noted.
9. The Presidency commended the active mobilization of youth and the need for solution-oriented action, embodied by concrete multi-stakeholder coalitions and projects involving countries, business sector, scientists, NGOs, youth, indigenous communities, cities and regions.
10. The Leaders were informed by civil society representatives about four multi-stakeholder coalitions addressing specific threats on climate, biodiversity and our oceans, namely: the Maritime Coalition for Climate and Environment, aimed at limiting international maritime sector's impact, as reflected in the Niulakita High Ambition Declaration on Shipping and the Declaration and the Charter for Good Practices in Maritime Transport for the Protection of the Marine and Coastal Environment; the Biarritz Pledge for Fast Action on Efficient Cooling, aimed at promoting parallel efforts to improve the energy efficiency and lifecycle management of the cooling sector while countries implement the phase-down of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants, in accordance with the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol; the Sustainable Fashion Coalition, aimed at reducing the environmental footprint of textiles which is notably responsible for up to 35% of primary microplastic pollution in the oceans, according to a recent IUCN study; and the One Planet Business Coalition for Biodiversity aimed at defining ambitious targets for the agri-food sector on the preservation and restoration of biodiversity.
Source: Official website of the French G7 Presidency
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