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Charles Kennedy

Charles Kennedy

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G7 Nations Invest More In Fossil Fuels Than Clean Energy Despite Pledges

The G7 nations have been pumping more in fossil fuels than in clean energy since the start of the pandemic, despite headline-grabbing pledges for ‘building back greener’, a new report found on Wednesday.

Since the pandemic started, major industrialized nations, including the U.S. earlier this year, have pledged to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and strengthened policies to support renewable energy, electric vehicles, and energy storage.

Yet, this was not enough, according to the analysis published by charity Tearfund, in collaboration with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). 

The Group of Seven most industrialized nations—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the U.S.—committed between January 2020 and March 2021 more than US$189 billion to support coal, oil, and gas, while clean forms of energy received only $147 billion, the analysis showed.

“These investments – including the many direct support measures and environmental deregulations adopted in favour of the fossil fuel industry – are inconsistent with the steep decline in emissions needed to limit global warming to 1.5°C and with G7 countries’ own net-zero targets,” the authors of the report wrote.

According to the analysis, G7 nations missed the opportunity to really build back better and greener from the pandemic.

In addition, more than eight in every ten dollars committed to fossil fuels came with no ‘green strings’ attached, that is, the funding committed did not come with any requirements for reduction in emissions or climate goals. At the same time, only one in every ten dollars committed to the COVID-19 response benefited the ‘cleanest’ energies measures such as renewables or energy efficiency, according to the report.

“G7 countries are not yet investing at sufficient scale in technologies that support the fast decarbonisation of their economies and have therefore also forgone the greater job creation that could be brought about by greener Covid-19 response,” the authors of the analysis noted.  

“Investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency should be a top priority to decarbonise the G7 economies. But it will not pay off as long as G7 countries continue propping up the fossil fuel industry,” Lucile Dufour, Senior Policy Advisor at IISD, said in a statement.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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