General – G7 countries
The nations that make up the G7 have pumped billions of dollars more into fossil fuels than they have into clean energy since the Covid-19 pandemic, despite their promises of a green recovery.
As the UK prepares to host the G7 summit, new analysis reveals that the countries attending committed $189bn to support oil, coal and gas between January 2020 and March 2021.
In comparison, the same countries – the UK, US, Canada, Italy, France, Germany and Japan – spent $147bn on clean forms of energy.
The support for fossil fuels from seven of the world’s richest nations included measures to remove or downgrade environmental regulations as well as direct funding of oil, gas and coal.
The analysis from the development charity Tearfund, the International Institute for Sustainable Development and the Overseas Development Institute showed that the nations missed opportunities to make their response to the pandemic greener.
In most cases, money provided for fossil fuel industries was given with no strings attached, rather than with conditions requiring a reduction in emissions or pollution. The analysis found that eight in every 10 dollars spent on non-renewable energy came without conditions.
This included lifelines that were thrown to the aviation and car industries, which received $115bn from the G7 countries. Of that money, 80% was given with no attempt to force the sectors to cut their emissions in return for the support.
Only one in every 10 dollars committed to the Covid-19 response benefited the ‘cleanest’ energies such as renewables and energy efficiency measures.
The UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, will open the G7 summit in Cornwall on 11 June. He has said he wants to unite the nations to “build back better” from the coronavirus pandemic to create a greener, more prosperous future. As well as the G7, the UK has invited South Africa, Australia, India and South Korea to take part.
The analysis of the actions of the seven major western economies in the last 15 months reveals they are not yet investing at sufficient scale in technologies that support fast decarbonisation of their economies, and they have not created green jobs at scale in response to Covid-19.
The G7 countries are among the most polluting in the world. They represent a 10th of the world’s population but are responsible for almost a quarter of CO2 emissions.