The G7 Hiroshima Summit will be held in Japan on May 19-21, 2023. The world’s seven major economies must 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 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.
In light of the above, 350.org Japan urges the Japanese government to:
- Place the climate crisis and energy issues on the agenda of the G7 Hiroshima Summit. 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.
- 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.
- At the G7 Hiroshima Summit, a strong political message should be sent out regarding the transition away from fossil fuels, more advanced than at the G7 Elmau Summit. The G7 countries, including Japan, need to put forward a political message that promotes a fair transition away from all fossil fuels and toward renewable energy. In particular, Russia’s continued dependence on fossil fuels is unacceptable from a peace perspective, as it will help Putin secure funding for his wars.
- 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 decarbonizing 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.
- 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.
Masayoshi Iyoda <[email protected]>
350.org Japan Communications and Advocacy Coordinator