The G7 hammered one more nail in the fossil fuel industry’s coffin. As many countries pursue clean energy technology and progress towards renewable energy, G7 leaders wrote in a joint declaration of their determination to “accelerate our work towards the transition to an energy system that enables a decarbonization of the global economy.” To that end, they agreed to stop subsidies for fossil fuels by 2025.
At a Japan summit, the world leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States discussed issues such as global economic growth, refugees, climate, and energy. They said they’d take action to get the Paris Agreement ratified or accepted as quickly as possible. According to them, it is vital to pursue clean energy if Paris’ climate goals are to be met.
In their declaration, the G7 leaders said, “Given the fact that energy production and use account for around two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions, we recognize the crucial role that the energy sector has to play in combating climate change.”
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), fossil fuel subsidies in its member states could total $160 to $200 billion every year. However, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) calculated subsidies including the cost of the effects of harmful climate change, and estimated that factoring in climate change and pollution could escalate estimated subsidy numbers up to $5.3 trillion every year. According to the Guardian, that’s $10 million spent every minute.
Subsidies have been decreasing generally, but not in every G7 country The UK recently offered tax breaks for some oil producers, Canada continued some natural gas subsidies, and Japan financed some new coal-fired power plants, the Guardian reports. Overseas Development Institute research fellow Shelagh Whitley seemed cautiously optimistic about the declaration, even as she told the paper that G7 leaders should have committed to a deadline of 2020 if they were truly serious about the Paris Agreement. She said, “We already see [some in] the G7 going in the wrong direction since Paris. Just because they are saying this [about fossil fuel subsidies], it’s not a fait accompli.”
Via The Guardian