Green Business

G7: Coal, energy security and biodiversity top UK agenda for Berlin meeting

Written by pgex7

The UK government has promised to push its fellow G7 nations to accelerate the shift towards green energy, reduce dependency on fossil fuels, and ramp up efforts to tackle biodiversity loss, as climate and energy minister of the world’s leading climate meet for a summit in Berlin this week.

COP26 President Alok Sharma, Business, Energy and Clean Growth Minister Greg Hands, and International Environment Minister Zac Goldsmith are all representing the UK at the G7 Climate, Energy and Environment Ministerial this week in a bid to drive up action on climate change.

The G7 meeting comes less than six months ahead of COP27 in Egypt later this year, and follows months of heightened geopolitical tensions and increasing economic headwinds in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has threatened to derail climate progress made at COP26.

But the UK government said this week’s meeting in Berlin, hosted by Germany as G7 president, presents and the opportunity for the world’s top import – the UK, USA, Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Canada and the EU – that international resolve to combat climate change has not changed.

As such, Sharma is expected to emphasise at the summit this week that soaring fossil fuel prices and the rising cost of living should increase rather than diminish countries’ determination to deliver on the Glasgow Climate Pact signed into life at COP26 last year, given greener energy Sources are both cheaper and less risky than coal, oil and gas, according to the UK government.

“Now more than ever, countries must urgently show global, leadership work together and honor the commitments made both at COP26 in Glasgow and in Carbis Bay last year, where G7 leaders committed to protect our planet by supporting a green revolution that creates jobs, cuts emissions and seeks to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5C,” Sharma said ahead of the summit. “This Ministerial can help to accelerate the shift to clean power generation and break our dependence on fossil fuels, and protect consumers and businesses from price volatility.”

Reports indicate yesterday G7 Ministers are considering making a commitment to phase-out coal power by 2030, and to fully decarbonise their electricity sectors by 2035, according to Reuters, which cited a draft meeting communique.

However, the news wire also notes that, ahead of this week’s meeting drawing to a close tomorrow, the draft communique is still being negotiated and could well be subject to change before its final adoption and publication, with sources suggesting neither the USA nor Japan could support such commitments on coal and electricity.

Meanwhile, this week’s G7 Ministerial also comes ahead of the long-delayed COP15 UN biodivers summit in China, which was originally slated to take place in 2020, but disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic has seen it pushed back several times. Hopes have been pinned on the summit delivering an international treaty committing countries to halting and reversing the catastrophic, ongoing decline in nature and biodiversity worldwide.

Biodiversity is therefore another top issue on the table in Berlin this week, and Lord Goldsmith is expected to call on fellow G7 environment ministers to build on commitments made last year to halt and reverse biodiversity loss, forest loss and land degradation by 2030.

Moreover, Goldsmith said he would stress the urgent need to continue to close the nature finance gap to meet international climate change, biodiversity and land degradation targets.

“At COP26, we brought nature from the margins of the global climate debate into the heart of our response, because the beauty of protecting and restoring nature is that it helps us tackle so many of the greatest challenges we face – biodiversity loss, hunger, Poverty, pollution, even pandemics, and the causes and impacts of climate change,” said Goldsmith. “This year, we must make the UN biodiversity conference nothing less than a Paris moment for nature. So I call on the G7 and the global community to rapidly scale up the finance for nature that is critical to getting an ambitious, robust agreement over the line – mobilizing new investment from all sources, aligning our spending and overseas aid with the recovery of the natural world, and using every lever we have to help the market take nature into account.”


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