C7: important signals, but still too much gas in the G7 Climate, Energy and Environment communiqué




*This article is originally published by Civil7 on 30 April 2024.
Aoi Horiuchi, Deputy Director of THINK Lobby, serves as a Steering Committee members of Civil7 in 2024.

Photo: @Ministero dell’Ambiente e della Sicurezza energetica 

Rome, 30 April 2024 – Important signals are coming from the meeting of Ministers on Climate, Energy and Environment that just concluded in Turin, following the COP28 decision in Dubai to transition away from fossil fuels’. It is positive to see, for example, the intention to phase out coal in the first years after 2030. Yet, the G7 countries still leave the door open to gas investments – one of the fossil fuels we must quickly get rid of – exacerbating the climate crisis and moreover wasting precious resources for the transition.

This was the strong message of the Italian and international civil society organisations gathered in the C7 delivered to the Environment and Energy Ministers at the conclusion of the Ministerial meeting of the G7 on Climate, Energy and Environment, hosted in Turin from 28 to 30 April, in the year of the G7 Italian presidency.

The G7 countries hold aa disproportionate responsibility for the climate crisis and biodiversity loss compared to other countries, but also disproportionate resources and capacity to respond. The communiqué signals the need to work collectively to scale up climate finance, linking efforts to meet the 100 billion goal with the much-needed attention to adaptation and loss and damage finance, the establishment of a New Collective Quantified Goal on climate finance that is fit-for-purpose, and the shifting of financial flows away from fossil fuels. The G7 countries recognise the need to mobilize trillions to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and invest more in resilient communities – demonstrates a step forward to restore trust in low- and middle-income countries.

The 2024 G7 Leaders’ Summit should be a moment to respond urgently and propose long-term solutions to the dysfunctions of our current systems.

In 2023, temperatures and extreme events such as fires, droughts, hurricanes and floods were recorded on a much larger scale than previously known. While almost no region of the world was spared, marginalised populations and communities were hit hardest, a clear sign of the greatest injustice of climate change: those least responsible for climate change suffer the most.

The G7 in 2023 sent important signals on the need to phase out fossil fuels and set targets for a massive increase in wind and solar power, but there are still many gaps in the commitments made and great concerns from civil society.

The G7 in Venaria nevertheless renewed investments in gas and this represents a profound inconsistency that needs to be overcome urgently. Moreover, the paragraphs on nuclear power appear to be inspired more by internal dynamics than by global realities, going so far as to address technologies such as fusion, which are far from being available.

In the C7 Statement (which can be read in full at this link), these and other specific recommendations were addressed to the G7 Environment and Energy Ministers for urgent action calling for ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’ and ‘respective capabilities’ according to the principles of equity recognised in the Paris Agreement.

The need to phase out fossil fuels and accelerate the energy and environmental transition to limit warming to 1.5°C – reaffirmed by the international community at many levels – requires deep, rapid and sustained reductions in global average emissions. However, an equitable distribution of the global mitigation effort among the peoples and countries of the world requires that those countries with the greatest historical responsibility and capacity to address the climate crisis do more, and do it faster. The G7 must cut emissions rapidly and drastically and provide substantial and structural funding for international climate finance to make a real contribution to the global effort to limit warming to 1.5°C.

Press Release from Civil7


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