11 Apr 2023, 13:34
Julian Wettengel

German env min emphasises G7 responsibility ahead of minister meeting

Clean Energy Wire / Bloomberg

The G7 countries cause a large part of the world's resource consumption and the associated damage to the climate and environment and thus have to “accept their responsibility to protect our environment and nature,” said German environment minister Steffi Lemke ahead of a key minister meeting in Japan. G7 climate, energy and environment ministers are due to meet on 15-16 April in Sapporo City, Japan, as one of several  meetings throughout the year to prepare the leaders’ summit in Hiroshima on 19-21 May. Lemke said she was confident that she and her colleagues would “demonstrate our determination to tackle the three existential crises of our time - the climate crisis, species extinction and the pollution crisis.”

Bloomberg reported that ahead of the meeting the G7 were butting heads over the timeline for phasing out coal-fired power. Draft communique documents seen by Bloomberg showed the European Union, the U.S. and Japan had expressed reservations about a UK proposal to set a 2030 deadline for phasing out unabated domestic coal power generation. Germany’s government aims to pull forward the country’s coal exit “ideally” to 2030, but especially eastern German coal states have reservations. Until this conflict is resolved, Germany is unlikely to sign on to any international agreements unless the language is changed accordingly. Last year, the G7 agreed to predominantly decarbonise electricity by 2035.

The Japanese G7 presidency has put the green transformation at the top of its agenda, but environmental NGOs say that the country aims to prolong fossil fuels by promoting carbon capture, gas and the co-firing of ammonia at coal power plants. Reuters reported that the draft communique for the ministers meeting mentioned ammonia as a hydrogen derivative as an "effective emission reduction" tool.

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