G7 Throws Weight Behind Sustainable Finance Movement

Earlier this week at a meeting in Bologna, Italy, leaders of the G7 pledged their commitment to join the G20, as well as other countries in turning the power of the global financial system to sustainable development. The Group of 7 (G7) is a group consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. The European Union is also represented within the G7. These countries are the seven major advanced economies in the world and represent more than 64% of the net global wealth ($263 trillion).

The Environment Ministerial Meeting was attended by the Environment Ministers of the member countries. In addition, the environmental leaders of four outreach countries particularly committed to environmental policies, in representation of emerging countries. These countries included Chile, Maldives, Ethiopia and Rwanda.

The the focus of the meeting was to set priority themes of the global environmental challenge, such as the state of implementation of the goals set by the Paris Agreement to fight climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN 2030 Agenda. For the first time, the these leaders discussed the frontier between economy and environment. Some of the major topics included environmental tax reform, environmentally harmful subsidies, the role of multilateral development banks, and sustainable finance. Crucial issues that were covered included resource efficiency indicators, awareness on food waste, and the economic analysis of the efficient use of resources.

Canada is next in line to take over the G7 Presidency from Italy. This is appropriate because Canada could lead G7 countries in economic growth this year. While many nations will struggle with constrained growth rates of 1.5 to 2 percent, Canada is on track for 2.5 percent growth this year. That’s up significantly from last year’s 1.4 percent which is despite, and in some cases because of, Donald Trump’s election south of the border. The United States representative at the meeting was supposed to EPA head Scott Pruitt. He traveled to Italy and hours later he decided it wasn’t for him, and he let an assistant finish up his business for the day. One representative called the US participation a “footnote on climate action.”

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