Infographic showing G7 countries' contribution to fossil fuel usage

The leaders of the G7 are meeting from 13-15 June in Italy for the last time before Activists target powerful forums with the potential to set the narrative and make significant change, and it has not escaped campaigners that the G7 nations are responsible for 27% of global fossil fuel production.

Groups are looking at the G7 leaders to take decisive action on climate change. It is believed that the COP28 resolution last year ‘raised the bar for what is expected from the world’s governments

Given their strong and growing conviction that the world is on track to overshoot the Paris target, activists see this meeting as one of the last opportunities for these leaders to adopt the measures required to ensure global warming is restricted to 1.5 °C. They will be watching the proceedings with interest – not just because of the potential impact of coordinated action, but because there are so many other issues specified by the Italian presidency as core areas with a need for action: the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Palestine, international migration, engagement with Africa and the Indo-Pacific region, food security and AI, among others.

What are groups pushing for? Substantial action on phasing out fossil fuels and supporting the clean energy transition.

Past G7s and Current NGO Expectations

This diverse range of pressing concerns reflects contemporary trends in other stakeholder groups. But the importance of the forum as a driver of climate action will not escape attendees, and is no new idea. Previous presidents have expressed interest in establishing the G7 as a ‘climate club’, ensuring that climate concerns take precedence in the annual dialogues.

In 2021, leaders’ committed to a ‘green revolution’ expected to cap the rise in global temperatures at 1.5°C ahead of COP26 in Glasgow.

Last year, G7 ministers jointly agreed to ‘increase offshore wind capacity by 150GW and solar  PV to more than 1TW’ by 2030 alongside committing to accelerate the phase-out of fossil fuels in order to achieve net zero by 2050.

Later at COP28, a “historic” consensus was reached. After intense pressure from activists, nations agreed to ‘transition away from fossil fuels in a just, orderly and equitable manner’.

NGOs will be expecting the G7 countries to walk the talk on this most recent commitment. Progress on decarbonisation targets is a key NGO demand ahead of the summit.

Key Campaigns 

350.org is mobilizing supporters to demand the G7 nations stop funding coal, oil, and gas abroad and fund renewable energy instead, as well as finance poorer countries to make the transition to renewables. The petition had accrued nearly 5,000 signatures at the time of publishing.

Italian group Re:Common has highlighted how emissions associated with the largest banks in the G7 exceeded those from Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom and France combined. The group is calling for more transparency in reporting and underscoring the importance of strengthening the climate policies at these leading banks.

Oil Change International has said that the G7 ‘have the moral responsibility and economic ability’ to ensure a move away from fossil fuels, adding that that the world’s wealthiest countries need to lead by example on clean climate financing by ending the public financing of fossil fuel expansion.

Climate action will be top of mind for activists observing the G7 leaders summit, and groups will use the collective action, or lack thereof, to frame campaigning narratives through the year.

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