Message from CAN-Japan for the opening of the G7 Hiroshima Summit:
Make a maximum commitment to phase out fossil fuels and a just transition to 100% renewable energy
7th April, 2023
Climate Action Network Japan (CAN-Japan)
CAN-Japan urges the government of Japan, the host country of the 2023 G7 Hiroshima Summit, to lead the discussion on a phase-out of all fossil fuels and just transition to 100% renewable energy, as well as to review related domestic policies and implement effective measures in order to achieve the 1.5°C goal set by the Paris Agreement.
Make a commitment to phase out all fossil fuels
In light of the fact that the remaining carbon budget to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C is small, G7 countries must take the lead in ensuring a phase-out of all fossil fuels. For example, agreements that can further strengthen and push forward the commitments made at the G7 Elmau Summit in 2022 are required as follows:
- Ensure the commitment “to end inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2025” as reaffirmed in the 2022 G7 Leaders’ Communique.
- Strengthen the commitment from the G7 Leaders’ Communique in 2022 from “fully or predominantly decarbonize the power sectors by 2035” to “fully decarbonize the power sectors by 2035”.
- Strengthen the pledge made in the G7 Leaders’ Communique in 2022 to “phase out unabated coal power plants” to a pledge with a specific phase-out date consistent with the Paris Agreement 1.5℃ goal.
- Hydrogen and ammonia co-firing technologies in the power sector have little effect on reducing emissions, are still under development, and are not in line with the Paris Agreement’s timeline to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C. They should not be defined as emissions “abatement” measures.
- Maintain the commitment to a highly decarbonized road transport sector by 2030. Set a target for new passenger and commercial vehicles to be ZEVs by 2030 at the latest, given the fact that there are still many areas difficult to decarbonize.
Make the utmost effort to commit to a just transition to 100% renewable energy
Renewable energy is already being put to practical use in many countries, and its costs continue to drop. Utilizing renewable energy leads to energy independence and is a reasonable way to address both climate change and the recent surges in fossil fuel prices. Therefore, it is advantageous to mobilize political and financial resources for a just transition to renewable energy. Nuclear power, ammonia co-firing in coal-fired power generation, hydrogen co-firing in gas-fired power generation and the use of CCS, which are currently being promoted by the Japanese government, should not be pursued further as decarbonization technologies.
Furthermore, it is important for G7 countries not only to expand the use of renewable energy in their own countries, but also to promote just transitions to renewable energy around the world through international cooperation such as Just Energy Transition Partnerships (JETP). Technical support, investment, and subsidies to developing countries should be allocated for the promotion and expansion of renewable energy. Additionally, it is also essential to implement energy conservation measures to achieve a goal of 100% renewable energy.
Leave no one behind in support for adaptation and loss and damage
Damage caused by climate change is already being experienced in Japan and around the world, and thus it is imperative to strengthen adaptation measures to prevent further damage from climate change. Additionally, it is necessary to strengthen support for loss and damage, which is unavoidable even with the implementation of adaptation measures. We call to strengthen adaptation policies, targets and actions in all G7 countries, as well as the support for adaptation and loss and damage measures for vulnerable people and communities both domestically and abroad.
Climate change measures for effective peacebuilding
Climate change and peacebuilding are inseparable issues. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has not only brought about a humanitarian crisis, but has also had adverse impacts on climate change and led to global energy, food, and fertilizer crises. Massive greenhouse gas emissions from military activities have contributed to climate change, and the world now realizes that dependency on fossil fuel imports raises geopolitical risks.
This year’s G7 summit is being held in Hiroshima, which has suffered from war and atomic bombing – with some people still suffering from it – and a place which calls for the abolition of nuclear weapons and realization of permanent world peace. Therefore, we call for an international effort for a prompt ceasefire as well as a pledge to make the utmost commitment to expand renewable energy for energy independence.
Japanese GX basic policy does not contribute to decarbonization
In February 2023, the Kishida Administration adopted the GX (”Green Transformation”) basic policy and related bills at a cabinet meeting. These bills are currently being discussed in the Diet. Despite the fact that it will set the direction of Japanese energy policy for the next decade, it was decided with hardly any opportunity for public debate.
The GX basic policy promotes nuclear power, co-firing ammonia and hydrogen with fossil fuels, and carbon capture and storage (CCS). Nuclear power, which carries a risk of dangerous nuclear disasters, cannot be a solution to address climate change. Furthermore, technologies for ammonia co-firing with coal and hydrogen co-firing with gas for power generation and the use of CCS are still under development, will have only a marginal effect on emission reduction, and cannot meet the timeline for the 1.5°C goal set by the Paris Agreement. In addition, introduction of the GX economic transition bonds to support investment for these technologies and use of a carbon pricing scheme as the source of its redemption do not contribute to decarbonization, and they can also negatively impact Japan’s economic competitiveness.
Therefore, Japan should seek a true green transformation by transitioning to renewable energy, which is ready for use and economically competitive right now, and mobilizing political and financial resources to expand and improve energy conservation technologies.
Climate Action Network Japan（CAN-Japan）