On May 26th and 27th, the G7 Climate, Energy and Environment Ministers held a meeting in Berlin. This gathering is a prelude to the June summit in Bavaria, which will be attended by the heads of government and the presidents of the European Commission and the European Council.
The meeting was led by the German Federal Minister for the Environment and Consumer Protection, Steffi Lemke, and the German Federal Minister for the Economy and Climate Protection, Robert Habeck (Green party). They will coordinate the work of the ministers until the end of December 2022.
It is no coincidence that climate was the main topic of the G7 session.In Germany, support for the Green Party has increased twofold between 2018 and 2019 . The inhabitants of this country are favourably disposed towards pro-environmental movements, which is expressed in the large increase in interest in the Green Party, as well as the growing popularity of climate issues.
The ministers highlighted the most serious crises that our planet is facing. They listed the climate crisis, the reduction in biodiversity and the air pollution issue. During the meeting, topics such as energy security, the energy transition and expanding green industries were raised. The goal of decarbonizing electricity generation by 2035 also was discussed. From the debates held during the meeting, the G7 Ministerial Communiqué was adopted.
One of the primary topics was the issue of maintaining climate targets at a time when Russia is waging war in Ukraine, which has an impact on energy and food prices around the world.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted many Western countries to buy energy resources outside of Russia and to rely on coal as an energy source to free themselves from dependence on Russian gas. This, in turn, has raised concerns that the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis it caused could thwart efforts to combat climate change.
“Replacing fossil fuels from Russia has dominated the political debate and the actions of the government in the past weeks and months,” German economy minister Robert Habeck said as reported by Reuters. “But it must be clear to us that the challenges of our political generation, limiting global warming, won’t go away if we just concentrate on the present,” he added.
According to Deutsche Welle, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry also commented on the matter :“It is absolutely critical, that we heed the science that dictates that we must accelerate our efforts for conversion to independence, to renewable energy,”.
Ministers have demanded that the World Bank and other international investors commit to stop financing coal. Moreover they agreed to end financing for any foreign fossil fuel projects at the end of this year.
The declaration also included provisions on transport. The high degree of decarbonization of the road sector will mean, among other things, that sales of electric cars will increase by the end of the decade. However, it was emphasized that the key to substantial change is sustainable transport, i.e. based on a significant and increased role of public transport.
“We call on oil and gas producing countries to act in a responsible manner and to respond to tightening international markets, noting that OPEC has a key role to play,” stated in a communique issued at the conclusion of the G7 talks.