The G7 leaders have ended their three-day meeting in the Bavarian Alps with a commitment to the Paris climate accord, even as they agree that some fossil gas projects should be taken to reduce dependence on Russian energy. Public funds may be necessary for this.
The agenda of the summit was dominated by Russia’s war against Ukraine, which G7 leaders sought to counter by demonstrating strength and unity among the group of influential Western economies.
The leaders agreed to follow a key initiative by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and set up a climate club by the end of the year, but were criticized for reducing language on electric vehicles and fossil fuels.
Cooperation with developing and emerging countries played an important role in the summit, with several planned ‘equitable energy transition partnerships’ to support their transition.
“It was an important summit at a very special time,” Scholz said during his last press conference, adding that it showed the G7’s unity in support of Ukraine.
Away from public scrutiny with beautiful views of the Bavarian Alps, G7 leaders face a particularly challenging cocktail of interconnected crises, particularly with regard to energy security, food supply, climate action, the COVID-19 pandemic and biodiversity loss. faced.
Many of these issues have been aggravated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – a crisis that dominated negotiations Russia had been a side until its annexation of Crimea in 2014 and appeared strong and unified at summits held under the auspices of the G7. was encouraged to. Current German presidency.
Germany aims high on climate for Elmau summit, promises to make it highest priority During the presidency of the G7, but the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February thwarted the plans.
Leaders’ final release Really puts climate and energy front and center, starting with a section called “One Persistent Planet.” Leaders reaffirm their “unshakeable” commitment Paris Agreementand said they aim to keep the 1.5°C temperature rise limit within reach – regardless of climate targets growing energy supply crisis Especially expected for European G7 members.
“While taking immediate action to secure energy supplies and prevent the rise in energy prices driven by exceptional market conditions, we will not compromise our climate and biodiversity goals, including the energy transition,” he said, on Russian Energy Imports adding a commitment to remove dependencies.
G7 opens door to gas sector support “in line with climate objectives”
While G7 countries ratified plans to end inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2025, member states offered strong warnings for their commitment to ending public support for fossil fuels abroad.
Despite Scholz’s insistence on making possible public funding of foreign gas projects, Agreements signed to the contrary at last year’s COP26, The final text now opens the door for such support but sets some limits, which observers say are in line with the 2021 COP pledge.
“The decision to end the financing of fossil fuels stands,” Scholz said. “However, of course we will help countries in the current situation if they want to invest in their energy supplies, for example if they are hydrogen-ready – as long as they are in line with 1.5°C. [global warming limit] the goal of Paris Agreement,
Scholz stressed that natural gas may not be a long-term solution and especially not for Germany, which aims to become climate neutral by 2045. However, “gas is needed for a transitional period and that is why there may be investments that make sense in this phase and require support”, the chancellor said.
The final release stated that public support in the gas sector may be “appropriate” in “extraordinary circumstances”. […] If implemented in line with our climate objectives and without causing lock-in effects”.
Summit “fails to signal new beginnings in climate policy” – Germanwatch
For civil society observers, this is the main reason A rather weak climate consequence of the summit,
“It is disappointing that the G7 summit failed to signal a new beginning in climate policy that would have been possible,” said Christoph Bales, the policy director of the US. germanwatch Clean Energy told the Wire. However, Scholz’s push for gas financing meant that “climate policy damage control” now stood at the center.
Johannes Schroeten, policy advisor to the think tank E3Gsaid the G7 wasted a “golden opportunity” to accelerate the end of fossil fuel public finance.
“An attempt to give a major exemption from Chancellor Scholz’s COP26 ‘statement on international public support for the clean energy transition’ has been averted – but only justified,” he said. “The integrity of the policy remains in place, but we need urgent clarification of the timelines and investment criteria, beyond the empty notion of hydrogen-preparation.”
green Peace Germany’s executive director Martin Kaiser saw a lack of ambitious climate agreements. “Scholz has failed to start the turning point for climate protection in Elmau and lacks clear proposals for phasing out coal and a phase-out date for combustion cars by 2030 and gas by 2035.”
G7 to set up climate club by the end of 2022
The G7 unveiled plans to set up a climate club by the end of this year, where members will agree on joint rules and standards in the fight against global warming. The club will “support the effective implementation of” Paris Agreement By accelerating climate action and growing ambition with a specific focus on the industry sector, thereby addressing the risks carbon leak for emission intensive goods complying with international regulations”, said a separate document,
It was a significant victory for Chancellor Scholz, who has been advocating for such a club for some time.
A climate club was necessary because not enough has been done, however, argued the G7. “We note with concern that at present neither the global climate ambitions nor the implementation goals are sufficient to achieve Paris Agreement“he said in the document.
The club will be built on three pillars: Climate mitigation by working towards a common understanding of how different measures can be made comparable decarbonization, and fostering international ambition through partnerships and collaborations. The Climate Club will be cooperative and open to countries that are committed to accelerating action to increase Paris Agreement,
Observers criticized that the proposal still lacked details. “The climate club must be designed with concrete goals and measures,” said Dennis Snover, head of the Global Solutions Initiative.
European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) Visiting Fellow Mats Engström said the statement on the club “is an important step, but much remains to be done, including ensuring that it is truly inclusive.”
Marion Feist, researcher at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP, Told that the establishment of a club by the end of the year was an “optimistic deadline, given the lack of substance”.
german chemical industry group VCI The initiative to create a climate club called “a good thing” was met with internal support. The industry group therefore urged the EU to “unilaterally introduce border adjustment measures for climate protection and to postpone its plan to give full priority to the Climate Club.”
Climate cooperation beyond the G7 through an ‘equitable energy transition partnership’
G7 Launches $600 Billion”Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment“For sustainable infrastructure projects in low- and middle-income countries – seen as a response to China’s so-called Belt and Road Initiative.
In addition, the German Presidency invited a number of developing countries and emerging economies that are also members of the wider G20 club of influential economies to attend the summit. Following a joint session with the heads of state and government of Indonesia, India, South Africa, Argentina and Senegal, the current President of the African Union, G7 leaders said in a document That they are committed to joining forces to accelerate the transition to climate neutrality.
As part of these efforts, the G7 decided to establish more so-called ‘Just Energy Transition Partnerships’ (JETPs), the first of which was announced last year with South Africa at COP26. These partnerships aim to drive the transition through financial as well as technical support and capacity building. However, talks with Indonesia, India, Senegal and Vietnam have not been finalized and new JETPs may take months to be announced.
Bales of the NGO Germanwatch welcomed the document by the G7 and allies, but said it was “apparently just a starting point”. Bales called it “unfortunate” that leaders only agreed to “phase out” the use of coal, not eliminate it altogether.
G7 considers import price cap on oil and gas to prevent Russia from profiting from war
The leaders said they would consider the “feasibility” of a temporary price cap on energy imports from Russia so that Moscow could benefit from the war against Ukraine and its fallout, which has driven up oil, gas and coal prices in recent months. Had seen
The idea behind the cap is to tie the shipping of financial services, insurance and oil cargo to a price cap, Reported Reuters, A shipper or an importer can obtain these only if they commit to setting a ceiling price for Russian oil.
Italian think tank ECCO analyst Luca Bergamaschi called the debate over the price range a distraction. “Paying too much political attention to vague and potentially ineffective or counter-productive “price caps” instead of addressing the demand side to cut consumer costs and finance Putin is a huge waste of time,” he said. said in a message on Twitter, In his view, the G7 should focus on energy savings, energy efficiencyRenewable and maximizing existing infrastructure.
G7 results “not enough to bridge trust gap with Global South”
Some saw the German G7 summit as an important step on the 2022 global climate agenda on the way to COP27 in Egypt later this year. NGOs like oxfam had called On the G7 to eventually increase climate finance. It is seen as an important way to gain support from developing countries for ambitious climate action.
The G7 now said it would intensify efforts to fulfill its promise to support developing countries with $100 billion of climate finance annually. In addition, they said they would enhance climate and disaster risk finance and insurance and work towards a “global shield” against climate risks, with progress expected by the start of COP27.
ECFR’s Engström said Germany has put forward an ambitious climate agenda for the G7 summit, “but the outcome is not enough to bridge the trust gap with the Global South.” The G7 really has to deliver on its climate finance promise. “Otherwise the momentum could be lost from last year’s Glasgow conference.”
Ella Kokotsis of the G7 Research Group called it “disappointing” that the G7 only confirmed its plan to deliver $100 billion “as soon as possible”.
“Expectations were high that Elmou would eventually fulfill this long-pending commitment,” she said.
this article was originally published Clean energy by wire. Reproduced here with permission.