At the recent G7 Climate, Energy and Environment Ministers Meeting in Berlin, Germany, delegates discussed the need to take urgent climate action in a way that addresses energy security issues and seizes the opportunities of a net-zero economy.

By the end of the Berlin summit, G7 ministers pledged to largely halt generating electricity with fossil fuels by 2035. The move comes amid unease over energy security due to the war in Ukraine.

Over three days of meetings with their international counterparts, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, and Minister of Natural Resources, Jonathan Wilkinson championed Canada’s international role in tackling climate change, building strong partnerships to advance energy and mineral security, and taking urgent action to protect nature and halt biodiversity loss.

“Canada’s priorities for climate action and nature protection were top of the agenda among our G7 partners. Partners agree that progress is being made, but we each need to accelerate our timelines. The world cannot wait—we must continue to mobilize and deliver action,” said Guilbeault.

“G7 leaders have clearly said that securing energy security and fighting climate change are mutually reinforcing goals. The commitments we made today put Canada in a strong position to help the world fight climate change, protect nature, and build a strong future for people everywhere.”

Minister of Natural Resources, Jonathan Wilkinson and Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault at G7 conference in Berlin, Germany. Credit: Steven Guilbeault/Twitter.

In particular, Canada pursued and delivered progress on these key priorities:

  • Driving ambitious climate action among G7 countries and globally: Following negotiations, all G7 nations made significant new progress on the global phase-out of unabated coal-fired power, and decarbonizing electricity systems by 2035. Ministers Guilbeault and Wilkinson emphasized in particular the importance of a sector-by-sector approach to decarbonization, as Canada has done in its 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan. G7 nations are also now committed to phasing out international financing of fossil fuel projects by the end of this year. This is a commitment that Canada made at COP26 in Glasgow and had since been consistently encouraging other G7 countries to adopt. Canada remains committed to phasing out domestic fossil fuel subsidies by 2023, two years ahead of schedule. And to ensure countries worldwide are resilient to the impacts of climate change, G7 members agreed to double climate financing for adaptation in developing countries, part of the $100 billion commitment of member nations.
  • Strengthening clean energy and mineral partnerships with G7 countries: Canada is committed to helping Europe reduce reliance on Russian energy without compromising shared climate and nature commitments. Minister Wilkinson held bilateral discussions with G7 partners on the role Canada can play to support an accelerated transition to clean energy solutions with secure and reliable supply chains, including raw materials and clean hydrogen. G7 members agreed on the importance of partnerships in critical minerals supply chains, including mining, processing, manufacturing and recycling. Canada emphasized the need for clear and consistent policy signals to attract investment, set emissions intensity standards, and drive affordability for the net-zero economy of the future.
  • Acting urgently to protect nature and halt biodiversity loss: Canada highlighted its progress on the protection of 30 per cent of its lands and waters by 2030, while pushing others to follow suit. Canada also supports the High Ambition Coalition on Biodiversity beyond National Jurisdiction to advance the protection of marine biodiversity. Minister Guilbeault continued to champion a new legally-binding global agreement on plastic waste and shared details of impending regulations to ban harmful single-use plastics in Canada. As a global leader in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards, Canada shared best practices on its approach to sustainable mining and forestry and emphasized the importance of building strong Indigenous partnerships.

Canada’s domestic leadership in linking three priorities—climate action, clean energy and nature protection—and showing concrete action allowed the Ministers to pull forward ambition on global commitments. This will be illustrated by the series of global events at which Canada will participate in the coming months, including the CETA Clean Technology Summit, Convention on Biological Diversity COP15 and the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP27.

The G7 is an informal grouping of seven of the world’s advanced economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.

Featured image credit: Canadian Embassy in Germany/Twitter.

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