Communiqué from the G7 ministers for climate, energy and environment contains first commitment on coal phase-out
The meeting of the G7 climate, energy and environment ministers concluded today with agreement on a communiqué that sends a strong message in support of more climate action with a view to the 1.5°C limit and solidarity with the countries hit hardest by climate change. The G7 have laid the foundation for urgently needed progress in the G20 and at the next UN Climate Change Conference, COP27. The climate and energy crisis, biodiversity loss and the pollution crisis are advancing relentlessly and growing worse with every day of hesitation. Solutions can only succeed with international discussion and close cooperation. The two-day G7 meeting of the climate, energy and environment ministers sends a strong signal of unity and commitment to greater climate action and environmental protection.
Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck remarked: "We are tackling the global crises together. The G7 are sticking to their course, even in difficult times, and are sending a strong message for more climate action. The G7 have made a first-time commitment to the goal of predominantly decarbonised electricity sectors by 2035. Beyond that, they have committed for the first time to phasing out coal-fired power generation. This is enormous progress, which is more important than ever in times like these and in view of Russia’s terrible war of aggression against Ukraine. Climate action, the coal phase-out and the expansion of renewable energies are matters of national, European and international energy security. We have to take resolute action on them together."
Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke commented: "I feel good heading home from this G7 meeting. Despite Russia’s appalling war on Ukraine, despite the pandemic and discussions about energy security, the G7 is sending a strong message for greater environmental protection and nature conservation. It strikes a bold note of ‘now more than ever’ instead of a disheartening ‘carry on as usual’. The G7 countries are responsible for a large share of global resource consumption and thus also for the associated damage to the climate and environment. It is imperative for us to use the resources of our planet more sustainably and judiciously. The G7 accept this responsibility. I am so pleased that we have agreed active steps to protect biodiversity on land and at sea, and that we unanimously support improving circularity in the use of valuable resources. The G7 are taking action together as strong partners to tackle the global crises."
Key outcomes in the area of energy and climate:
- Nationally determined contributions: The G7 pledge to increase their climate ambitions by strengthening sectoral targets (e.g. renewable energy targets), setting non-CO2 sub-targets (on for example methane) or accelerating implementation of their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) for 2030.
- Loss and damage: The G7 recognise for the first time that they must scale up support for vulnerable countries in handling loss and damage.
- Climate finance: The G7 committed, for the first time, to doubling the provision of climate finance for adaptation to developing countries by 2025, working together with other countries. They call on multilateral development banks to present plans for aligning their portfolios with the 1.5°C limit on warming by COP27 and to establish a joint reporting method. The G7 agree to work on a progress report on implementation of the ten guiding principles for collective action, as identified in last year’s Delivery Plan (on meeting the 100 billion dollar goal).
- Decarbonising electricity/coal phase-out: The G7 has made a first-time commitment to the goal of predominantly decarbonised electricity sectors by 2035. Beyond that, they have committed for the first time to phasing out coal-fired power generation.
- Ending international finance for fossil fuels: The G7 (and, for the first time, Japan) commit to ending direct international public finance of the fossil fuel energy sector by the end of 2022. The commitment does allow exceptions in limited circumstances that are consistent with a 1.5 °C warming limit and the goals of the Paris Agreement. The G7 notes the importance of advancement of national security and geostrategic interests in this context.
- Fossil fuel subsidies: The G7 affirm their commitment to ending inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2025. To increase transparency, they aim to report on this commitment in 2023 and will consider options for developing joint public inventories of fossil fuel subsidies. The G7 acknowledge for the first time that fossil fuel subsidies are inconsistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
- Decarbonising transport: The G7 committed for the first time to achieving a highly decarbonised road sector by 2030 by significantly increasing the sale, share and uptake of zero-emission vehicles.
- Decarbonising industry: The G7 are advancing cooperation within the G7 Industrial Decarbonisation Agenda. In an annex of the communiqué, the G7 agreed to establish an aligned definition of near-zero-emission steel and cement production and to develop a policy toolbox for industry transition.
- Hydrogen: The G7 are launching the G7 Hydrogen Action Pact on cooperating on market ramp-up, development, regulation and support of hydrogen value chains.
- Climate partnerships/JET-Ps: The G7 want to establish partnerships with specific developing countries and emerging economies. These partnerships are inspired by the Just Energy Transition Partnership with South Africa. Multilateral development banks and private sector finance will play a role in the partnerships.
- Climate Club: The G7 climate, energy and environment ministers stress the importance of multilateral initiatives to limit global warming to 1.5 °C and implement the Paris Agreement. They conducted initial talks on the proposal of founding a Climate Club. They stress that the Climate Club can play a role in driving forward industrial green transformation.
Key outcomes in the area of environment:
- Biodiversity: The most important policy success, in light of the wave of mass extinction, is agreement within the G7 on conserving biodiversity. The message is clear: a new post-2020 global biodiversity framework must be adopted this year. This means the UN Conference on Biological Diversity (COP 15.2) must be held in 2022. Biodiversity loss is rapidly advancing worldwide, and the impacts are dramatic. It cannot be put off any longer. The G7 countries acknowledged these facts. Beyond this, the G7 also emphasised the potential for positive synergies between biodiversity conservation measures and pandemic prevention.
- Biodiversity finance: National and international finance for nature is to be significantly increased by 2025. The G7 commit to mobilising financial resources from all sources, including public sources. At international level, this sets the tone for the negotiations on the global biodiversity framework and sends a message in support of increasing budgetary funds for international biodiversity finance.
- Nature-based solutions: The G7 committed to implementing nature-based solutions while observing robust social and environmental standards. The BMUV recently presented a first national action plan on nature-based solutions, supported by four billion euros. Protecting and restoring forests and peatlands stores CO2, thereby contributing to the achievement of climate targets and also helping preserve biodiversity.
- Oceans: The G7 are sending a joint signal for ambitious marine protection and conservation. They agreed an Ocean Deal that includes protection of biodiversity beyond national jurisdictions and conservation efforts in the Antarctic. Agreement was also reached on environmental standards in deep sea mining. In future, the G7 countries will only support deep sea mining if it does not cause serious environmental harm. The marine area of the Antarctic is recognised as a highly sensitive and species-rich ecosystem with a key role in the global climate system. The G7 supports the designation of strictly protected areas in the region.
- Plastic pollution: The G7 countries made a voluntary commitment to take measures against plastic pollution ahead of a global agreement on the issue. The focus here is to ban avoidable and problematic plastic and to ascertain the actual costs of the environmental damage. Another aim is to have producers internalise the costs, promote transparency in supply chains and increase traceability of plastic products and waste.
- Resource efficiency: In the Berlin Roadmap, the G7 adopted an ambitious 3-year work plan containing concrete measures to enhance resource efficiency. Cooperation in all relevant sectors should be intensified with the goal of a true circular economy. The G7 countries acknowledge the link between resource exploitation and the global triple crisis of biodiversity loss, climate change and pollution and note that the current level of global resource consumption is not sustainable and must be reduced.
- Chemicals: The G7 agreed measures to strengthen global sustainable chemicals management. This affirmation from the G7 will give momentum to the International Conference on Chemicals Management, which will be held next year in Bonn under German Presidency.
The key outcomes of the meeting were set out in a joint communiqué. The communiqué opens with a clear declaration of solidarity with Ukraine.