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G7 leaders agree to phase out fossil fuel use by end of century

The Guardian – By Kate Connolly in Garmisch Partenkirchen – June 8, 2015

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G7 leaders, including Angela Merkel (in pink jacket), and invitees line up for the traditional group photo at the end of the summit. Photo: Sven Hoppe/dpa/Corbis

German chancellor Angela Merkel announces commitment to ‘decarbonise global economy’ and end extreme poverty and hunger.

The G7 leading industrial nations have agreed to cut greenhouse gases by phasing out the use of fossil fuels by the end of the century, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has announced.

On the final day of talks in a Bavarian castle, Merkel said the Group of Seven leaders had committed themselves to the need to “decarbonise the global economy in the course of this century”.

Environmental lobbyists described the announcement as a hopeful sign that plans for complete decarbonisation could be ruled on in Paris climate talks later this year.

Merkel, as host of the summit, said the leading industrialised countries were committed to raising $100bn (£65bn) in annual climate financing by 2020 from public and private sources.

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From bottom clockwise, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande,  British Prime Minister David Cameron, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council President Donald Tusk, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama attend the third working session at the G-7 summit in Schloss Elmau hotel near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, southern Germany, Monday, June 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

She also announced that G7 governments had signed up to initiatives to work for an end to extreme poverty and hunger, reducing the number of people living in hunger and malnutrition by 500 million, and improving the global response to epidemics.

Poverty campaigners reacted with cautious optimism to the news.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel (left) talks with US President Barack Obama at the G7 summit near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, southern Germany, on June 8, 2015 (AFP Photo/Michael Kappeler)

The participant countries – Germany, Britain, the US, Canada, Japan and Italy – would work on initiatives to combat disease and help countries around the world react to epidemics, including a fund within the World Bank dedicated to tackling health emergencies, Merkel announced at a press conference after the summit formally ended on Monday afternoon.

Reacting to the summit’s final communique, the European Climate Foundation described the G7 leaders’ announcement as historic, saying it signalled “the end of the fossil fuel age”

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Posted by Teri Perticone

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