G7 energy ministers miss opportunity to move away from dirty fossil energy

Published: 12th May 2015

In response to today’s official communique from G7 Energy Ministers meeting, Jan Kowalzig, Oxfam Climate Policy Advisor, said: 

"This meeting was largely a missed opportunity in the climate change fight. Just re-stating that deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and an expansion of low carbon technologies are required isn’t good enough. The G7 need to commit to the phase-out of fossil fuel based energy sources, and in particular move away from dirty coal. Less than that will make the internationally agreed goal to keep global warming below 2°C unachievable, leading to large-scale climate change beyond manageable limits. 

"The next opportunity for a transition away from dirty fossil energy will be the G7 summit itself. Here, climate change is high on the agenda, too. We can only hope that Germany’s leader, Angela Merkel, reclaims her "climate Chancellor" title and pushes for G7 countries to lead the way in phasing out dirty coal and moving to renewable energy.  A concrete plan from G7 countries on how they will phase out coal is essential to ensure they meet their emissions targets - including Germany's target to cut emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2020. 

"In Germany this will require Chancellor Merkel to call off the coal lobby in her own CDU party and her coalition partner SPD to abandon their attacks on the proposed climate levy on old and dirty coal power stations."   


G7 summit of heads of governments is scheduled in southern Germany for early June. G7 leaders will discuss again the need for long term reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, but also a G7 initiative on climate risk insurance for poor nations. They will also cover ways to provide and mobilise new support and investments in clean energy and provide financial support to developing countries. The G7 summit is one of this year’s milestones in the run up to the COP21 in Paris, where governments are hoping to agree an ambitious and global deal on climate change. 

Oxfam will release a report on 5 June, ahead of the G7 Leaders Summit, demonstrating that G7 countries can and should phase out coal. 

Contact information

Elena Cornellana on +34 646 95 59 15 / elena.cornellana@oxfaminternational.org