G-7 ministers vow to take lead role in delivering Paris climate deal

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TOYAMA. KAZINFORM - Environment ministers and representatives from the Group of Seven nations on Monday expressed their resolve to take a leading role in implementing a landmark climate accord reached last year following their two-day talks in central Japan, Kyodo reports.

In a communique that summarized their discussions in the city of Toyama on the Sea of Japan coast, the participants agreed to push for the early entry into force of the Paris climate accord and to bring forward the schedule for the submission of their mid-century, long-term strategies to tackle global warming before the 2020 deadline.

It was the first gathering of G-7 environment ministers since nearly 200 nations agreed at a U.N. conference on climate change in Paris in December to create a long-sought framework to involve every country in reining in greenhouse gas emissions.

While welcoming the fact that more than 170 countries have already signed the agreement, the G-7 members expressed their determination "to show leadership with early and steady implementation" of promises to curb heat-trapping gas emissions, according to the communique.

All G-7 members -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States and the European Union -- have signed the agreement as well as China, the world's largest emitter. The accord will enter into force following the ratification by at least 55 nations accounting for an estimated 55 percent of global emissions.

The ministers also said they recognize the importance of the G-7's "leading efforts" in developing long-term strategies to curb emissions as requested under the accord and vowed to submit the strategies to the United Nations "as soon as possible and well within the schedule" of the U.N. decision reached at the climate meeting.

To limit the global temperature rise to well below 2 C above preindustrial levels to avert more serious impacts of climate change, countries are obligated to set their own emissions cut targets for the post-2020 period and are also urged to communicate by 2020 to the United Nations what are called long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies.

With populations increasingly concentrated in urban areas, the G-7 members pointed to the "growing importance of the role" that cities can play in addressing climate change and called on national governments to help cities act such as by sharing information about successful innovation.
As for other environmental issues, the ministers adopted a set of actions to promote the efficient use of resources, including recycling waste generated from natural disasters, under what they call the "Toyama Framework on Material Cycles."

The framework also touched on the need to promote reduction of food waste as the G-7 countries pursue new global goals to ensure sustainable development, adopted at a U.N. summit in September last year, which include halving per capita global food waste by 2030.

According to the United Nations, an estimated one-third of all food produced -- equivalent to 1.3 billion tons worth around $1 trillion -- ends up rotting in the bins of consumers and retailers, or spoiling due to poor transportation and harvesting practices.

The gathering in Toyama was part of a series of ministerial talks leading up to the G-7 summit to be held in Mie Prefecture in central Japan May 26 to 27.

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