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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Japan urged to place climate, energy issues on G7 Hiroshima Summit agenda

The Japanese government has been asked to place the climate crisis and energy issues on the agenda of the G7 Hiroshima Summit that the country will host from May 19 to 21, 2023.

G7 Elmau Summit
G7 leaders at the Elmau Summit in Germany

In a statement titled: “An Appeal for an Ambitious Agreement on the Climate Crisis and Energy Measures at the G7 Hiroshima Summit”, environmental campaign group, 350.org, noted that it is essential to place these issues on the agenda of the G7 Hiroshima Summit not only to succeed the G7 Elmau Summit in Germany, but also to make the agreement go further than the previous commitments.

At The G7 Hiroshima Summit, 350 is urging the world’s seven major economies to show leadership to the rest of the world by confronting the latest scientific findings and the escalating climate crisis to achieve an agreement that will significantly strengthen measures compared to the G7 Elmau Summit in 2022.

The campaigners want the Japanese authorities to stop promoting “false solutions” at the G7 Hiroshima Summit and steer the agenda toward an essential shift away from fossil fuels.

“The Japanese government has been delaying the transition away from fossil fuels by promoting ‘GX’ technologies such as next-generation nuclear power, carbon capture and storage (CCS/CCUS), and ammonia/hydrogen co-firing with fossil fuels for thermal power generation. The COP27 agreement also identified renewable energy as a critically important decade-long measure.

“We should turn to ‘real solutions’, such as thorough energy conservation and expansion of renewable energy, instead of ‘false solutions’, which are fraught with technological uncertainties, will not allow us to meet the critically important emission reductions by 2030, and are more expensive than energy conservation and renewable energy,” disclosed the group.

At the G7 Hiroshima Summit, the group requests that a strong political message should be sent out regarding the transition away from fossil fuels, more advanced than at the G7 Elmau Summit. It wants the G7 countries, including Japan, to put forward a political message that promotes a fair transition away from all fossil fuels and toward renewable energy.

The group added: “In preparation for the G7 Hiroshima Summit, we must immediately announce our intention to significantly raise Japan’s climate change targets and measures to be consistent with the Paris Agreement 1.5°C target. Without strengthened domestic policies, Japan will not be ready for international leadership. According to scientists, Japan’s 2030 greenhouse gas emission reduction target is insufficient to meet the Paris Agreement 1.5°C target and must be raised to a 62% reduction.

“To achieve this goal, it is essential to strengthen regulations on fossil fuels, carbon pricing, and drastically expand energy conservation and renewable energy measures. There is also an urgent need to review diplomatic strategies around climate change and energy, as Japan has reportedly weakened its agreement on decarbonising coal and fossil fuels and electric vehicles during the G7 Elmau Summit process, according to a report by Oil Change International. Japan ranked first in the world in public funding for fossil fuels from 2019-2021.

“We must likewise ensure civil society participation in the preparatory process and series of meetings for the G7 Hiroshima Summit. Civil society participation in the G7 Hiroshima Summit process is essential from a democratic perspective. More opportunities for civil society to be involved in the preparatory process are needed.”

On December 23, 2022, 350.org Japan participated in a meeting between Kasuhiko Nakamura, G7/G20 Summit Sub-Sherpa of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and G7 Civil Society Coalition 2023, and submitted a “Request for an ambitious agreement on the climate crisis and energy measures at the G7 Hiroshima Summit” to the Japanese government. At the meeting, 350 Japan conveyed the request including that climate change and energy transition be placed on the G7 Summit’s key agenda.

According to 350 Japan, it will continue to closely monitor the process of the G7 Summit and, as a member of the G7 Civil Society Coalition 2023, will urge Japan and other G7 governments to strengthen their response to the climate crisis in cooperation with diverse civil societies.

“The climate crisis is becoming more serious, such as the flooding in Pakistan this year, where one-third of the country’s land area was reportedly submerged. In Japan, there has been no end to the damage caused by record-breaking heat waves and torrential rains.

“At the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), it was agreed to establish a loss and damage fund in response to the voices of developing countries and global civil society suffering from climate disasters. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is not only unacceptable from a humanitarian standpoint, but has also resulted in massive greenhouse gas emissions, highlighting the vulnerability of our continued dependence on fossil fuel energy,” 350 added.

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