Climate Change Headlines G7; Merkel Commits To Conclude TTIP During Obama’s Term 09/06/2015 by Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)MUNICH — The agreement of the heads of states of the United States, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, France, Italy and Germany to reduce global warning to less than two degrees made the biggest headlines of the G7 Summit on Elmau Castle, Germany, in the Bavarian Alps. Also agreed were commitments on trade and on public health, including research and development for neglected diseases. The official website of the 7-8 June G7 Summit is here. The final declaration is available here. Seen as the most ambitious goal of the German G7 presidency, the global warming agreement comes ahead of the UN climate conference in Paris later this year, and includes a commitment to the “decarbonisation of the global economy over the course of this century.” Japan and Canada were reported to be holding out against this part of the final declaration. Environmental groups drew the most positive conclusions after the Summit. Samantha Smith, leader of World Wildlife Fund’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative, said: “Though they left out the details, it is clear after this meeting that the days of fossil fuels and carbon pollution are numbered.” For the pre-agreement in the run-up to the climate summit, Merkel received praise even from the political opposition in Berlin, including the Green Party. The Green Party and Greenpeace used the close-by highest summit of Germany, the Zugspitze (2,962 m), to promote the goals they had in mind for the G7 Summit, including more ambitious climate politics. Greenpeace used a laser projection to light up the Zugspitze, pushing for sharper action on climate change. IPRs and Innovation Intellectual property and innovation received mentions in the final declaration, in the context of the global economy. They were mentioned in the same sentence as investment, as follows: “To ensure that G7 countries operate at the technological frontier in the years ahead, we will foster growth by promoting education and innovation, protecting intellectual property rights, supporting private investment with a business friendly climate especially for small and medium-sized enterprises, ensuring an appropriate level of public investment, promoting quality infrastructure investment to address shortfalls through effective resource mobilization in partnership with the private sector and increasing productivity by further implementing ambitious structural reforms.” Trade Agreements One of the important topics on day one was free trade agreements, such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Chancellor Merkel, in an interview with the German Public Broadcasting Station (ARD), answered the question if TTIP would be finalised during Obama’s term of office: “We will be able to do it.” The negotiating partners will work with “high pressure” to come up with consolidated text for the TTIP, but also the agreement with Canada (CETA) by the end of the year, she said. Merkel also said during the interview that she thought Europe should not be falling behind the US planned partnership in the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP), together with Japan, countries in Latin America, and elsewhere. The strong commitment by Merkel and the G7 Summit for TTIP and CETA contrasts sharply with the rising worries by the public. The organisation Campact has collected 2 million signatures against the FTAs. Public Health and IP Intellectual property has made it into many summit declarations before, but this time it was only mentioned briefly. Big in the final declaration are the fight against Ebola and pandemics, antimicrobial resistance, and neglected tropical diseases. Effective commitments here are rather vague, however, said Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors without Borders). MSF said in a press release after the meeting. that the “G7 have not have made the world more secure, instead they missed the chance to ‘pass practical measures’.” What was adopted is too vague, MSF’s Philipp Frisch said after the event. While the organisation welcomed the continued engagement in research and development for neglected diseases, “so far G7 states except the UK have completely missed putting their money where their mouth is: there have been no concrete financial commitments.” Also a reform of the “broken system to fund research for new drugs, vaccines and diagnostics is still lacking,” he said. Here is the language on neglected “tropical” diseases, from the G7 declaration: “We commit ourselves to the fight against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). We are convinced that research plays a vital role in the development and implementation of new means of tackling NTDs. We will work collaboratively with key partners, including the WHO Global Observatory on Health Research and Development. In this regard we will contribute to coordinating research and development (R&D) efforts and make our data available. We will build on efforts to map current R&D activities, which will help facilitate improved coordination in R&D and contribute to better addressing the issue of NTDs. We commit to supporting NTD-related research, focusing notably on areas of most urgent need. We acknowledge the role of the G7-Academies of Science in identifying such areas. In particular, we will stimulate both basic research on prevention, control and treatment and research focused on faster and targeted development of easily usable and affordable drugs, vaccines and point-of-care technologies.” It continues: “As part of our health system strengthening efforts we will continue to advocate accessible, affordable, quality and essential health services for all. We support community based response mechanisms to distribute therapies and otherwise prevent, control and ultimately eliminate these diseases. We will invest in the prevention and control of NTDs in order to achieve 2020 elimination goals.” International Organisations Applaud A number of international organisations issued statements of applause for the G7. Among them, International Labour Organisation Director General Guy Ryder in a press release applauded the “G7 leaders’ commitment to promote ‘labour rights, decent working conditions and environmental protection in global supply chains.’” World Trade Organisation Director General Roberto Azevêdo underlined what the WTO saw as a strong statement of support for the multilateral trading system, “particularly the call ‘… for swift agreement by July of a WTO post-Bali work programme that secures a prompt conclusion and balanced outcome of the Doha Round’.” The competition between the multi-lateral system and the big regionals and bi-lateral trade agreements remains. United Against Russia US President Barack Obama in his closing press conference emphasised the unity between the partners in striving for further growth of their economies. With regard to free trade, Obama said: “I updated my partners on our effort with Congress to pass trade promotion authority so we can move ahead with TPP in the Asia Pacific region, and TTIP here in Europe – agreements with high standards to protect workers, public safety and the environment.” Obama also focussed on some of the foreign policy issues of the G7 conference. “On Ukraine and Russia and Minsk, there is strong consensus that we need to keep pushing Russia to abide by the terms of the Minsk agreement; we need to continue to support and encourage Ukraine to meet its obligations under Minsk – that until that’s completed, sanctions remain in place.“ A joint stand against Russia, which has been excluded from the G7 for several years now, had been high on Obama’s wish list. And on more contentious issues, Merkel ruled out beforehand raising the controversial issue of mass surveillance of the US and some European foreign intelligence services. William New contributed to this report. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Monika Ermert may be reached at email@example.com."Climate Change Headlines G7; Merkel Commits To Conclude TTIP During Obama’s Term" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.