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G7 meeting in Metz to take action on the environment

media In Metz a "World march for ecological and social justice" organized just before the start of the G7 meeting AFP / Jean-Christope VERHAEGEN

Environmental ministers from G7 countries gathered on Sunday in the French city of Metz, to discuss concrete climate actions and adopt a charter on biodiversity. This was on the eve of the publication of a major report on the current state of the environment by the United Nations.

The G7 countries of France, Canada, Germany, the United States, Japan, Italy, the UK, along with delegations from Mexico, Chili, Niger, Gabon, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Fiji, Norway and the European Union, are all attending the summit.

"We will agree on the best ways to enhance the place given to biodiversity in the international scene and to achieve an ambitious result at the COP15 meeting in China at the end of 2020," promised Francois de Rugy, France’s Minister of Ecological Transition at the opening of the summit.

During the two day meeting, participants will look at concrete initiatives that aim to combat inegalities, deforestation, drought, plastic garbage along with coral reef protection and adopt a charter on biodiversity.

Questions surrounding financing, along with climate change and scientific warnings, will also be tackled.

“I hope we will witness a collective commitment come Monday evening on concrete and resolved action,” added de Rugy.

Bombshell report

The summit is due to wrap up Monday afternoon, which will then be succeeded by the public release of UN report on the current situation of the world’s ecosystems.

Following six days of negotiations in Paris on Saturday, diplomats and scientists finalized the wording of what they are touting will be a landmark report.

The report, due to be unveiled on Monday, was written by more than 400 experts and will be the first UN global assessment of the natural world in 15 years.

According to drafts seen by AFP, the report will likely reveal that up to one million of the Earth’s estimated eight million species face extinction, many just decades away.

“The evidence is incontestable,” says Robert Watson, chair of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

Just before negotiations got underway, Watson told delegates that the current destruction of biodiversity and ecosystem services “has reached levels that threaten our well-being at least as much as human-induced climate change”.

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