The G7, made up of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US, came together in June (2022) for three days in Bavaria, Germany, to discuss climate change.
In recent years, the G7 were urged to move towards cleaner, renewable energy to help fight climate change. They were also asked to address energy efficiency solutions that will help them to reach their climate goals and create energy security.
Previously they had all agreed to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. One of their biggest achievements was when Japan, who was the last of the seven countries, committed to redirecting their finances away from fossil fuels. Japan is known to be the second largest investor into fossil fuels, as each year the country invests $11 billion into overseas fossil fuel projects.
However, it appears that the G7 are now looking for ways to go back on their pledges and have seemingly created a loophole within their promises and are watering down the language they are using.
Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there has been a threat to energy resources worldwide as many countries rely on Russia for their coal, oil, and gas. Therefore, these countries that have been dependent on these imported fossil fuels are now feeling the strain.
The G7 have agreed that this is a special circumstance, and that action must be taken to fix the problem in the short term. Therefore, they have agreed that they can invest in fossil fuel projects to remove this dependency, therefore creating a loophole.
There have been reports that Italy and Germany both pushed for these amendments, as they are both heavily reliant on Russian energy sources. Many of the G7 countries, including the UK, Germany, Italy and Japan, have all stated that they are looking into investing into fossil fuels.
Worryingly, Boris Johnson has made claims that the UK should look towards using its own coal supplies to stop importing the fossil fuel into the UK from abroad, which will hinder the UK’s attempts to reach the target of net zero by 2050.
Italy’s Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, has claimed that they have not turned their backs on their commitments, but the G7 are considering the situation to be an energy ‘emergency’.
They have agreed to stick to the pledges they have already agreed including decarbonising their electricity sectors by 2035, and they have also made a new pledge to highly decarbonise their road sectors by 2030.
To further improve their efforts to tackle climate change, the seven countries are debating the idea to make plans to set up an international ‘climate club’ in order to stop competitive disadvantages which will occur mainly in the industrial sector whilst climate action is co-ordinated.
Many have stated that the G7 haven’t done enough, since COP26, and have a lot of work to do in order to show credibility at COP27. As these pledges are only words, action needs to be taken. This includes the already promised $100 billion a year to help developing countries mitigate the effects of climate change.