G7 must show bold climate leadership now, or lose credibility

Posted on 24 June 2022

(24 June 2022) - In the face of mounting global crises, the G7 leaders must show bold climate leadership at its meeting starting on Sunday.

 

The G7 is a grouping of countries representing the world’s seven most advanced economies - Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. The meeting will take place from 26 to 28 June, under the leadership of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

 

In this pivotal moment, as the world grapples with possibly the worst energy crisis ever, it is deeply concerning that the world’s richest economies are responding by focusing only on their energy security, deepening fossil fuel commitments and infrastructure.

Viviane Raddatz, Director Climate & Energy Policy, WWF Germany said: “G7 countries must prioritize accelerating renewables and energy efficiency over fossil fuel supply diversification as they seek to secure energy security. The temptation and pressure to find quick solutions could see Germany, and other governments, further deepening their long-term dependence on fossil fuel infrastructure, subsidies and commitments. 

“It has never been more critical for the G7 countries, led by Germany this year, to show climate leadership in the face of daunting global disruption and disorder. These disruptions will only increase if we do not tackle the climate crisis head on. This is not the time to retreat into the old fossil fuel ways.”

Raddatz said the G7 must implement their commitment to end all international public fossil fuel finance by the end of this year, and scale up finance urgently needed to support developing countries in their transition to a clean and sustainable energy future.

“It is the time for bold leadership that accelerates the energy transition to a sustainable future, and the G7 must show the way. We have no other choice,” she said.

In a letter sent to Chancellor Scholz earlier, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF global climate and energy lead, called on Germany to ensure that G7 energy security concerns are addressed with increased focus on renewables and energy efficiency, rather than short-sighted support for fossil fuels. 

Pulgar-Vidal said volatility in energy prices disproportionally affects vulnerable countries. “The climate crisis demands urgent and effective global responses more than ever. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report reminds us that to avoid the most devastating climate change impacts, deep cuts in emissions are needed immediately. The science is clear: every tenth of a degree counts, and time is ever more of the essence.”

Without immediate and deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in all sectors and regions going beyond current Nationally Determined Commitments (NDCs), the temperature goal of the global Paris climate accord cannot be met.

“We also risk passing critical tipping points in the climate system that could trigger catastrophic runaway climate change.” This already does and will continue to affect the lives and livelihoods of the most vulnerable communities more than anyone else, he noted.

The G7 must bind their climate commitments, including their clean and sustainable energy strategies, by resubmitting stronger NDCs that include or strengthen sectoral targets, other greenhouse gases like methane, or stringent implementation measures.

 

All these energy and NDC commitments must be reinforced in the G7 Leaders Communiqué, if they are to be credible about their climate leadership in this time of energy and climate crises.

Notes for Editors:

  • A recently published WWF report, G7 Climate Crossroads: State of Play,  takes stock of emissions trajectories, climate policies and complementary policies in G7 countries, and summarizes policies to enable just energy transitions, protect consumers against energy poverty, establish climate finance commitments and energy partnerships to facilitate energy transitions in other countries as well as makes proposals to introduce carbon border adjustment mechanisms.
 

For further information, contact:

Mandy Jean Woods  mwoods@wwfint.org 

Germany will host G7 Summit this weekend at Schloss Elmau in the Bavarian Alps.
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