May, June and July are busy months with international meetings and summits, where climate and clean energy strongly feature on the agendas. Some of the most high profile events are the G7 and G20 which have both addressed action on fossil fuel subsidies.
On May 26-27, G7 leaders together with EU leaders convened in Taormina, Italy for the G7 summit. The meeting was convened in unusual circumstances – with a new and unpredictable US President that set numerous alarms around US withdrawing from the Paris Agreement.
While the tone was different from previous years, the G6 still maintained some language and commitments to international climate action, and the Statement from the G7 highlighted such a commitment.
Following the US decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, a G6 Environment Ministers Statement built more constructively on previous commitments to climate action and the clean energy transition. On fossil fuel subsidies specifically, the Statement commits to “contribute to the implementation of the commitment of our Heads of State and Government adopted in Ise-Shima in 2016 for the elimination of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption by 2025.”
The dynamics established at the G7 set an interesting stage for the upcoming G20 which will take place in Hamburg, Germany on July 8th. Led by another European country with a robust commitment to climate action, this summit will be an important space to encourage and solidify commitment from a broader set of countries to climate action and the clean energy transition.
The German G20 Presidency identified fossil fuel subsidies and carbon pricing as two key issues to make progress on within the scope of the climate and energy work.
While there has been consistent ambition from the German government, with the support of the EU, it is still it uncertain that any further progress will be made on the G20’s initial commitment to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. If we see any updated commitments, it will certainly be at the level of G19 rather than G20, following the dramatic change in the US position.
However, there is also a possibility of more vocal actors safeguarding the role of the G20 to address climate issues, including fossil fuel subsidies; for example, China, the EU, Canada and Mexico. Meanwhile, the peer reviews of Germany’s and Mexico’s fossil fuel subsidies have not been published.
Civil Society Summit
The C20 Summit takes place this weekend, June 18-19. The agenda will touch on a number of issues surrounding the G20 agenda, including sustainability. CAN Europe, together with Overseas Development Institute and Carbon Market Watch is organising a workshop on fossil fuel subsidies and carbon pricing on Sunday June 18th at 13.30. The workshop will look at carbon pricing and fossil fuel subsidy reform measures across different regions in the G20, discussing lessons learned and how to communicate the issues more effectively.
The Summit will present a final Communiqué to Chancellor Angela Merkel, citing key CSO concerns and demands.
Relevant publications from this year on G20 action to address climate change and the clean energy transition: