The G7 wants to get rid of natural gas … but not yet – Politico

Investments in fossil fuels must be eliminated, except when they help Europe end its disastrous dependence on Russian gas.

That was the mixed message on Friday from climate ministers in the world’s largest industrial democracies. The Group of Seven has called for an end to international investments in fossil fuels by the end of this year and criticized private financing for continuing to subsidize dirty energy – but left plenty of room for desperate EU states to replace Russian gas.

‘We acknowledge that investing in [the liquefied natural gas] This sector is essential to respond to the current crisis, in a way that is consistent with our climate goals and without triggering shutdown effects.

“The bloc’s short-term efforts to replace Russian gas have not succeeded,” German Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck told a press conference immediately after the three-day meeting in Berlin. But he added a caveat: “We have to be careful not to be too successful because we don’t want to spend the next 30 or 40 years building a worldwide gas industry that we ultimately don’t want to.”

This is a concern of climate activists, who argue that investments in pipelines and stations will extend the use of fuel, a major contributor to climate change.

Brussels argues infrastructure will transport hydrogen in the future – despite the EU’s Energy Regulators Cooperation Agency Says This is not certain.

The pressure to leave room for gas also comes from producing countries, which see Europe’s impending break with Russia as a business opportunity.

The United States has committed to increasing European gas shipments. During the meeting, Canadian Minister of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson said Bloomberg That his country could convert an import terminal into an export terminal and send gas to Europe within three years.

African countries also saw an opportunity to take advantage of it; Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and German Chancellor Olaf Schulz have called on governments and companies across the continent for gas deals.

“The greatest danger is a new wave of expansion of gas production and infrastructure on the African continent incompatible with retention [the 1.5-degree target of the Paris Agreement] said Luca Bergamci, director of the Italian research center ECCO.

The gas hunt is in line with Friday’s G7 agreement to shut down public funding for fossil fuels internationally “except in limited circumstances” and their “concern” about “the amount of private funding that currently continues to support other than Paris.” [Agreement] Compatible activities especially in the fossil fuel sector. “

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Similar tension emerged as ministers agreed on a new push to end fossil fuel subsidies by 2025, including the publication of “common public inventories as soon as possible”. But the statement I also acknowledge that many countries are taking short-term measures in response to higher prices that make fossil fuels cheaper – like the UK Advertising Thursday of the tax exemption for oil and gas extraction. The ministers said these policies should be “temporary and targeted”.

With the seeming short-term complexity, ministers tried to send a message that emphasized their long-term commitments by pledging to “decarbonize mostly the electricity sectors by 2035”. This is a notable turnaround for Japan, which rejected attempts last year to set a difficult date.

But they were unable to agree to phase out coal power by 2030 — with resistance from Japan and the United States, according to people familiar with the discussions. They also refused to set a date to stop making and selling fossil-fueled cars. G7 leaders may address these issues when they meet in late June.

Ministers have also struggled to send a message to the rest of the world that the planet’s richest nations will power their own emergence as storms, droughts and heat waves fueled by climate change intensify.

They pledged to “strengthen support” for vulnerable countries they acknowledge are already suffering losses and damages from climate change – a term describing economic and social costs, such as land lost due to sea-level rise or infrastructure destroyed by extreme weather.

It’s a significant step for the world’s richest and historically polluting nations, which have long sought to avoid the problem over fears that it would open the door to expensive reparations claims from island nations and others at high risk of devastating climate impacts.

But there was no mention of financing loss and damage, a key requirement for countries vulnerable to climate change that is set to be a major talking point at COP27 climate talks later this year.

Funding is a red line for many rich countries.

Canadian Climate Minister Stephen Gilbolt said: Tell National media this week. He suggested that the compromise could be “shifting the conversation away from responsibilities” toward “a new way of doing international development.”

But the ministers also acknowledged in their statement that “climate-resilient development” is already a challenge and “may not be feasible in some regions if global warming exceeds 2°C”.

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