IEEFA slams G7 over gas phase-out

Think tank calls on leaders 'to walk the difficult road to net zero'

An influential think tank has slammed the G7 energy and environment ministers for not living up to expectations regarding the phase-out of natural gas.

The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis said in a statement that while it welcomed some of the pledges made by the energy and environment ministers in last month’s communique including around renewable energy investment, it was time for the G7 “to walk the difficult road to net zero” and commit to the phasing out of all fossil fuels, not just coal.

“While the world was hoping the G7 would take a leap and commit to exiting not only coal but also gas, they have not lived up to this expectation,” it said.

Last month’s communique specified that investment in the gas sector could be deemed appropriate to help plug energy shortfalls caused by the Russia-Ukraine war provided that this was implemented in a manner consistent with climate objectives.

The communique also stipulated plans to increase capacity in offshore wind by 150GW and more than 1TW in photovoltaic solar energy.

The G7 meeting of the leaders of the seven advanced democracies – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US – is due to take place this weekend in Hiroshima, although other ministers have been meeting in the build up to the event.

The G7 finance ministers and central bank governors also issued a communique last Saturday in which they reiterated a number of ambitions around climate change.

These included their central goal of achieving emissions reduction targets by 2030 and reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or earlier as well as the commitment to mobilise $100bn per year to developing countries through to 2025.