G-7 set to end support for overseas unabated fossil fuels in 2022

May 27 , 2022. 29 minutes ago – 16:05 KYODO NEWS

BERLIN – The Group of Seven developed countries are poised to stop providing new public support for overseas fossil fuel projects by the end of 2022 if they have no sufficient measures to reduce greenhouse emissions, a Japanese government official said Friday.

The goal is included in a joint statement drafted by the G-7 countries for a ministerial meeting on climate, energy and environment issues, which is due to wrap up later in the day in Berlin, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The group, formed by Canada, Japan, the United States and major European countries, pledged in a meeting of their leaders in June last year to end new direct government aid for unabated international thermal coal power generation in 2021.

The envisioned commitment in the draft means that the scope of their efforts to fight climate change is expanding.

Other issues of the G-7 ministers include whether they will set a specific time frame to end coal-fired power and show unity in ways of reducing reliance on Russian energy.

Germany, the rotating chair of the G-7, has proposed that the ministers stipulate the goal of phasing out coal power generation by 2030, and other European countries and Canada have backed the idea, officials who were preparing for the meeting said earlier.

But Japan, a resource-poor country, remains opposed to committing to a specific time frame, while the United States has compromised to aim for the goal “in the 2030s,” according to the officials.

A copy of the draft seen by Kyodo News has no time frame and instead said the G-7 will prioritize “concrete and timely” measures to achieve the goal of an eventual phase-out of domestic unabated power generation.

It also showed their commitment to the goal of decarbonizing most of the electricity sector by 2035.

Japan’s industry minister Koichi Hagiuda told reporters in Tokyo on Friday, “We will steadily fade out inefficient coal power generation toward 2030 and replace it with decarbonized thermal power toward 2050 by utilizing hydrogen, ammonia, carbon capture and storage.”

Hagiuda also said Japan will try to diversify its energy suppliers by investing in liquefied natural gas projects outside Russia, among other means, to reduce its dependence on Russian natural gas.