Civil society reacts to G7 meeting on climate, energy and environment

17 April 2023

16 April 2023, Sapporo: Today the G7 ministers’ meeting on climate and energy concluded in Sapporo, Japan, with an adopted communique

Reactions from civil society:     

“While G7 ministers recognised the need to scale up renewable energy, their commitment to phase-out of fossil fuels is frivolous and full of loopholes. The calls from scientists and activists to urgently phase out of fossil fuels and support a just and green transition in developing countries, seemed to have fallen on deaf ears. The rich industrialised countries are also shirking on their responsibility to provide adequate finance to help poorer nations adapt to and recover from the losses and damages caused by climate disasters.” –– Harjeet Singh, Head of Global Political Strategy, Climate Action Network International

“The richest and historically most carbon-polluting countries in the world, the G7, for the first time ever committed to quantitative targets for key renewables by 2030 underlining the need for early action in the global climate crisis. This is welcome. The objective to grow clean offshore wind power about six times annually in the next years and solar power almost three times annually compared to 2022, is a breakthrough and in line with recent economic findings by the IPCC on the most cost-effective carbon pollution reduction.”

“However, there is no measurable agreement by the G7 on other sustainable renewable energy resource use, like onshore wind, geothermal. And no target on economy-wide energy efficiency which is critical to remain on a track for meeting the 1.5 C survival target in next decade. Further, the offshore wind and solar targets need to be annually monitored and verified. The G7 also failed to significantly enhance financial and technical assistance to poorer nations to rapidly scale up renewable energy.” — 
Dr Stephan Singer, Senior Adviser Energy, Climate Action Network International

“Investments in the gas or any other fossil fuel sector cross the redline of the Paris climate goals. There is no fossil fuel production that can be implemented in a manner consistent with climate objectives. Canada, the UK, and the US are among the top 5 largest fossil fuel producers and it is their responsibility, as members of the G7, to act as true climate leaders by stopping to grow a problem they have the means to curb. It is time for them to align with science as well as with the efforts of Global South countries in the Pacific or Colombia who are working concretely to preserve our common future. Rather than endorsing new fossil fuel investments, G7 nations must support an equitable phase-out as the only real way out of the climate crisis. The young people these G7 countries are supposed to serve have made a clear demand they must listen to: no new fossil fuel investment and the development of a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, the missing mechanism that will allow countries to work together to move away from coal, oil and gas, and to protect our youth and new generations.”Alex Rafalowicz, Executive Director of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative

G7 countries should commit to seriously stepping up climate finance and show leadership by firmly fixing an end-date to phase out coal in their countries. They should provide finance to emerging countries for them to decarbonise their economies without proposing dangerous distractions, including carbon, capture and storage; and ammonia, to Southeast Asia in particular. These funds can be made available by stopping their financing of fossil fuel projects. In addition, G6 countries should pressure Japan to address eliminating carbon pollution from its power sector, where it remains an outlier among the group. They should also demand for Japan to agree with the decision to eliminate linear fluorescent lamps by 2025, at the fifth conference of parties of the Minamata Convention on Mercury in October. Japan is also an outlier on this issue which will avoid more than 3.3 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.
— Nithi Nesadurai, Director & Regional Coordinator, Climate Action Network Southeast Asia

“The G7 has the opportunity to deliver real leadership on climate change. While the communique from the G7 demonstrates a step forward, it is still some distance from what is required as demonstrated in the recent IPCC Synthesis Report. It is time to align the ambitions and actions of the wealthiest nations with the clear imperatives described by the science. We need a rapid, fair transition where those nations most impacted by climate change, most of whom are small emitters, are supported by those nations who have benefited most from industrialisation.” — Glen Klatovsky, CEO, Climate Action Network Australia

“After some worrying initial drafts, the G7 commits to phasing in the good by drastically increasing wind and solar capacity, and to phasing out the bad with a phase-out of fossil fuels, albeit unabated. The signal sent ahead of the G20 and in the lead up to COP28 is unfortunately weakened by the lack of a deadline on coal, and the absence of clear commitments to fully decarbonizing the power and transportation sectors. To be taken seriously, rich countries’ need to step up on shifting financial flows and providing their fair share of climate finance. 

There’s still quite a way to go for domestic actions to align with the G7’s words, particularly when it comes to the energy transition, with many countries recently approving new oil and gas infrastructure projects. For Canada, that means implementing a rigorous and ambitious cap on oil and gas emissions while centering workers and communities through the transition, without delay.” — Caroline Brouillette, Acting Executive Director, Climate Action Network Canada


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