19 May 2023, 13:09
Carolina Kyllmann

German chancellor must push for faster fossil fuel phase out at G7 summit – NGO

Clean Energy Wire / Financial Times

Germany’s chancellor Olaf Scholz must push for an accelerated phase-out of fossil fuels at the G7 summit in Hiroshima, as the issue has not featured prominently enough in Japan’s priorities in the G7 presidency, environmental NGO Germanwatch said ahead of the summit, which starts today (19 May). However, Financial Times recently reported that Germany is pushing for G7 leaders to continue to support public investment in the gas sector as a ‘temporary measure’ to deal with the energy crisis. Germanwatch executive director Christoph Bals said that “the accelerated phase-out of fossil fuels should definitely become a core topic at the summit.” The NGO is calling for G7 countries to agree to phase out coal by 2030 and completely phase out fossil fuels in power generation by 2035, as well as the introduction of global renewable expansion targets, a faster increase in energy efficiency, and for a financing pledge for climate protection and adaptation in the global south to be delivered. “The ongoing investments of the G7 countries in fossil energies outside their own borders are worrying,” Alexandra Goritz, Germanwatch climate foreign policy officer, said.

Ahead of the summit, Scholz said tackling climate change and doing so with economic success were a common issue uniting G7 countries. He added that the ‘climate club’ – where countries commit to working together to decarbonise the industry sector – had “already achieved exactly the goal we had set ourselves for a long time” by making the effort to involve as many countries as possible from all over the world. G7 countries recently agreed on joint targets for the expansion of renewable energies and committed to accelerating the phase-out all fossil energy sources, specifying that no new coal-fired power plants may be built. However, environmentalists warned that the rich nation’s inclusion of carbon capture and storage (CCS) could lead to a “huge greenwashing show”.

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