Calling on G7 leaders to push ahead with decisive and urgent climate action, Greenpeace Italy, Greenpeace Switzerland, Greenpeace Austria and Greenpeace Germany activists protested from the water around the G7 Summit today.
Near the Giardini Naxos beach at Taormina, activists sailing on eight kayaks unfurled flags and banners with the message ‘Planet Earth first’. The activists also unveiled on the shore a four-meter-high Statue of Liberty covered with a life jacket to symbolise the threat that climate change and rising seas pose.
Greenpeace is calling on the G7 leaders to rapidly implement the Paris Climate Agreement, a generation-defining pact signed by nearly 200 countries, and to resolutely move forward despite the threats of US President Trump to abandon the agreement.
“The G7 states have played a major role in polluting our planet, but they can and must lead the way in the solution,” Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan said. “Here and now, the G7 has a chance to show the world they mean business. They must not slip up.”
“We demand the G7 leaders reconfirm their commitment to the rapid implementation of the Paris agreement and outline a path towards an energy future free of coal, oil and gas. If countries like the US renege on their obligations, the G7 must move forward without them.”
The momentum is already there. Three G7 countries – the UK, France and Canada – announced last year dates to phase out coal, while Italy is considering a phase-out by 2025 or 2030. Germany, too, is heading in that direction, given the long-term climate plan it released last year.
But US President Trump is trying to head the wrong way, rolling back climate action at home and threatening to leave the Paris agreement. The G7 must stay firm and hold him to account.
“A clear majority of the American people want clean energy and want the US to stay in the Paris agreement. It’s a no-brainer – climate change is also a major threat to the US and the clean energy transition brings huge economic benefits. If Trump fails to listen to American scientists, citizens and businesses, in his desperate attempt to cling to the polluting past, then the rest of the G7 must go ahead without the US.”
According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), weather-related disasters such as floods, storms, extreme temperatures and droughts are already displacing an average of 22 million people per year. Last year alone, weather-related hazards displaced three times more people than conflicts. (1)
“Climate and weather-related disasters and security risks will progressively worsen if we keep burning coal, oil and gas. Our future and the lives of billions of people across the world are at stake right now. Our answer to Trump’s ‘America first’ has to be ‘Planet Earth First’,” Morgan added.