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G7 Climate and Environment ministers – small steps forward, some steps back

E3G Press Release | Berlin

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Seven flags of the Group of Seven are developing against the blu
Seven flags of the G7 against the blue sky. Photo by Vitalii on Adobe Photo Stock.

G7 Climate, Energy and Environment Ministers have agreed a communique that shows they recognise their crucial role in climate action. However, vital signals from the G7 countries on how they’ll mobilise trillions-scale resources for developing countries’ energy transitions are at risk of backsliding from last year’s ambition. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will need to push for more action with G7 leaders.

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At a meeting of Climate, Energy and Environment Ministers, G7 governments have shown some progress on their climate action.  

However, Ministers continued backsliding on their “billions to trillions” policy promise to mobilise the sustainable infrastructure investment needed for developing countries’ energy transitions. This was already dropped from G7 Development and Finance Ministers meetings earlier this month after being a flagship of the UK-led G7 in 2021.  

G7 Climate, Energy and Environment Ministers acknowledged their crucial role in mobilising resources to help countries address loss & damage from, and adapt to, climate change impacts. They also committed to overwhelmingly decarbonising their power sectors by 2035 and be clear how this is central to addressing the current energy crisis. They brought Japan, the world’s largest financier of fossil fuels, into the shared commitment to end overseas fossil fuel financing. The statement on decarbonising transport also shows the G7 is serious about transforming this sector. 

This shows progress on G7 climate promises, but leaves many issues to Chancellor Olaf Scholz to pick up with G7 leaders. 

Quotes

Brick Medak, Head of Berlin Office, E3G said: 

“The G7 climate, energy, environment ministerial showed Minister Robert Habeck finally stepped up to the mark to secure progress on G7 climate action after failing to align Development and Finance ministers to the climate vision. But a significant to-do list is left for the German G7 presidency looking at the Leader’s Summit in Elmau at the end of June with gaps on the actions needed in this decade to phase out coal and mobilise the trillions necessary for a global green transition. Chancellor Olaf Scholz must show up at the leader’s level ready to go beyond his pet project climate club and move G7 leaders on where the climate and energy ministerial fell short.” 

Julian Havers, Programme Leader, E3G said:

“There was a “shift” in Glasgow at COP 26 from talking about the “billions” to the “trillions” needed in sustainable infrastructure investment for developing countries’ energy transitions. But the G7 continues to lack an ambitious plan. Ministers rowed back on their “trillions” policy ambition in the G7 Finance and Development Ministers’ communiqués. Urgent calls from German CEOs and NGOs have emphasised the importance to the German electorate that Chancellor Scholz secures G7 agreement on a policy path to mobilise the sevenfold increase in investment needed by 2030”. 

 Maria Pastukhova, Senior Policy Advisor, Energy Diplomacy and Geopolitics, E3G said: 

“The G7 have made a step in the right direction today by putting a date for largely decarbonised power sectors. It is a key signal towards the rest of the world that the current crisis and efforts to secure new fossil supplies will be time bound. It validates that, over the last months, the decarbonisation of the power sector has grown from climate into security objective – now delivery needs to follow.” 

Taylor Dimsdale, Director of Risk and Resilience, E3G said:

“The good news is that the G7 has shown some nerve and said clearly they will help vulnerable countries deal with the loss and damage they already suffer from climate impacts. But the details will matter. They now need to figure out where the money will come from and make sure the Global Shield on Climate Risk protects the people who need it most.”

Available for comment

Brick Medak, Head of Berlin Office (German Politics) 
m: +49 151 22889448, brick.medak@e3g.org

Julian Havers, Programme Lead (Climate Finance) 
m: +49 157 8391 0149, julian.havers@e3g.org 

Alex Scott, Programme Lead (Loss and Damage) 
m: +44 7482 750760 alex.scott@e3g.org

Maria Pastukhova, Senior Policy Advisor (Energy) 
m: +49 (0) 157 779 195 58, maria.pastukhova@e3g.org  

Alden Meyer, Senior Associate (Mitigation Ambition, US Policy & Politics) 
m: +1-202-378-8619, alden.meyer@e3g.org 

– ENDS – 

Notes to Editors

  1. E3G set clear benchmarks for G7’s climate action in February this year. Read about them here Five climate outcomes that the G7 must deliver – E3G 
  2. In December 2021, G7 Leaders declared their intention to provide more support to low- and middle-income countries to transition to renewable energy, mobilizing trillions of dollars in public and private finance.
  3. E3G is an independent climate change think tank with a global outlook. We work on the frontier of the climate landscape, tackling the barriers and advancing the solutions to a safe climate. Our goal is to translate climate politics, economics and policies into action. About – E3G 
  4. For further enquiries email press@e3g.org or phone +44 (0)7783 787 863 

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