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Canada, Japan block strong greenhouse gas targets at G7 summit

G7 agrees to full ban on fossil fuels by 2100

09.06.2015
Canada, Japan block strong greenhouse gas targets at G7 summit

TRENTON, Ont.

Canada and Japan on Monday blocked strong commitments on greenhouse gas emission targets at the G7 summit in Germany, but did agree to reductions.

Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel had pushed for the goal of reaching zero carbon emissions by 2050. But a ban on fossil fuels by that date fell short, and the leaders instead agreed to a full ban by the end of the century.

"We emphasize that deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions are required with a decarbonization of the global economy over the course of this century," the G7leaders said. "We commit to doing our part to achieve a low-carbon global economy in the long-term, including developing and deploying innovative technologies striving for a transformation of the energy sectors by 2050 and invite all countries to join us in this endeavor."

A source told the Canadian Press wire service thatCanada and Japan threw up roadblocks to more stringent language and reduction targets.

"Canada and Japan are the most concerned about this one," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "These two countries have been the most difficult on every issue on climate. They don’t want any types of targets in there, so I think they are trying to make it as vague as possible at this point."

Japan uses coal-fired energy plants while the Canadian economy depends heavily on so-called dirty oil from tar sands in Alberta. The federal government is reluctant to go along with any environmental measures that could interfere with oil production. The low-carbon targets would have "serious implications" for the oil sands project, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported, Monday.

Environment Canada data shows that emissions were 3.1 percent below 2005 levels two years ago, but had risen for four years in a row after a global downturn in 2009, the CBC reported.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Merkel met Sunday but did not discuss climate change, Harper’s office said.

Back home in Canada, opposition foreign affairs critic, New Democrat Paul Dewar, said Harper is hurting Canada’s international reputation by his refusal to agree to stronger emission goals or to discuss it with Merkel.

"It’s shocking that Mr. Harper didn't even bother to bring up climate change as an issue for discussion during his bilateral meeting with Chancellor Merkel," Dewar said.

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