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G7 Leaders Summit

Civil society convenes in Hiroshima ahead of G7 summit, to demand world leaders end the fossil fuel era
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Activists in Hiroshima ahead of G7 summit

Main image: Hiroshima action, courtesy of 350 Japan

Representatives from dozens of global civil society organisations, including, have arrived in Hiroshima ahead of this weekend’s G7 Leaders Summit – a significant moment during which a response to the correlated climate and energy crises will be a major point of contention.

The summit comes just days after the United Nation issued a warning that the Paris Agreement’s 1.5ºC threshold could be surpassed as early as 2027.

While G7 countries committed to ending fossil fuels in 2022’s communiqué, they have since reneged on their promises and are continuing to support dangerous and costly fossil fuel dependency.

‘The G7 leader’s summit in Hiroshima represents a crucial juncture at which the world’s most powerful nations have the opportunity to demonstrate true leadership and make good on their promises.

‘There is no point powering up on renewables without powering down on fossil fuels – a commitment to expand renewable energy development is not enough.

‘At a time when the climate, energy insecurity, and cost of living crisis are more potent than ever, we are demanding the G7 communique include a clear timeline for a complete fossil fuel phase out along with financial and technical support to accelerate a just, global energy transition.’

MAY BOEVE’s executive director

A week of action

A week of solidarity actions that have taken place in over 20 countries around the world culminated in a joint action led by the Fossil Free Japan coalition that was held on the ground in Hiroshima yesterday (18 May) morning.

Anticipating the upcoming negotiations and reflecting on the shortcomings of April’s Sapporo Climate and Energy Ministers’ communiqué, civil society is demanding that the G7 leaders’ final text reflects commitments in the interest of our shared collective future.

‘The G7 summit follows a year of global suffering due to fossil fuel-driven inflation, soaring energy prices, and exorbitant profits for oil corporations, following the G7’s 2022 pledge to end international fossil fuel support.

‘G7 leaders must phase out coal before 2030 and send a strong signal to substitute fossil fuels with at least 1.5 Terawatts of renewable energy per year from 2030 onwards.’

ANDREAS SIEBER’s associate director of global policy

Spotlight on Japan

As the host country, and one of the world’s top providers of international public finance for gas and for fossil fuels more broadly, Japan is in the spotlight.

Both Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan and President Joe Biden of the United States have positioned themselves as aspiring leaders on issues pertaining to both climate and security — the latter being a key element of Kishida’s decision to host the talks in Hiroshima.

But during their tenures, both have taken backwards steps on their commitments.

‘Science has made it clear that in order to tackle the climate crisis, we need a complete transition to renewable energy. To achieve the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 degree target, world leaders must commit significant finances into renewables and immediately cease financial support for all fossil fuels.

‘Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has acted as a laggard on the global stage by attempting to block a phase out of coal and pushing false solutions like ammonia co-firing, dangerous nuclear and LNG into the Sapporo communiqué. The G7 in Hiroshima is an opportunity for PM Kishida and other leaders to deliver a clear and just renewable energy agenda for a peaceful world.’

MASAYOSHI IYODA Japan interim team lead

While riding the win of passing the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes $369 billion in funding to tackle climate change, President Biden has in the past two months approved two mega fossil fuel projects in Alaska — the Willow oil project, and the Alaska LNG exports, which will include an 800 mile pipeline, the produce of which Japan is expected to be a top buyer.

‘The G7 should be focused on eliminating fossil fuels and transitioning us to renewable energy. Instead, the US, Germany and Japan are re-opening the window towards massive investment in gas. This is not climate leadership and we call upon the G7 nations to prioritise people and planet over fossil fuel profits.’

JEFF ORDOWER North America director

German push for fossil fuel expansion

Alongside Japan and the United States, news recently broke that Germany is actively pushing for an endorsement of fossil gas in the summit’s final text.

Last year, Chancellor Olaf Scholz stated that the global energy crisis brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a justification for gas expansion. 

‘Germany’s push for fossil gas expansion is an attempted silver bullet, but it is not fooling anyone. Rather than justify fossil fuel addiction, the war in Ukraine and resulting energy crisis underlines the need for leaders to invest in affordable, accessible renewable energy.

‘Germany, the United States and Japan are hiding behind language that purports to serve the interests of the Global South and their own citizens, but is in reality a thinly veiled excuse to continue along the status quo where the fossil fuel industry rakes in obscene profits in the midst of extreme economic hardship and worsening climate impacts. They must be held accountable and commit to a just transition.’

NICOLO WOJEWODA Europe regional director

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