CSOs condemn G7 for caving in to gas industry - weakening pledge to end finance for fossil fuels

(Oil Change International, Washington, 27 June 2022) German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and other G7 leaders watered down a commitment made in May by their energy, climate and environment ministers to end international public finance for fossil fuels by the end of this year, drawing a swift rebuke from climate and development campaigners. Six out of seven G7 members had already adopted a near-identical commitment to shift public finance at the 2021 UN climate conference. The ministerial commitment was notable for adding Japan as Japan is the 2nd largest provider of international public finance for fossil fuels, pouring $11 billion into dirty overseas fossil fuel projects each year. The G7 leaders’ statement adds new loopholes to the commitment and says that “with a view to accelerating the phase out of our dependency on Russian energy … investment in [LNG] is necessary” and that “publicly supported investment in the gas sector can be appropriate as a temporary response”. Soon after the G7 ministerials, signals already emerged of countries backsliding on their commitment. Japan claimed it could continue financing upstream oil and gas projects despite the G7 pledge, and Germany’s Chancellor Scholz stated that Germany wants to “intensively” pursue gas projects in Senegal.