The International Energy Forum (IEF) has voiced support for the Group of Seven (G7) Climate and Environment Ministerial meeting for its commitment to invest in decarbonizing energy technologies while effectively balancing energy supply and demand to achieve a low-carbon and secure energy future.
The ministerial held on 20-21 May marked the first time the entire G7 group of industrialized nations have committed to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 – a critical milestone in keeping global warming below 1.5C degrees and transitioning to a new energy paradigm.
"The G7 ministers have reaffirmed the significance of global investment in carbon-abatement technologies to rebuild after the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure a viable energy transition," said IEF Secretary General Joseph McMonigle. "The International Energy Forum looks forward to helping advance the important mission of transitioning to net-zero emissions by 2050."
All seven G7 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, France, Germany and Italy, are members of the IEF, an international non-profit organization that seeks to promote energy security, market stability and transparency through global dialogue.
In their communiqué, the G7 ministers said: "In this critical year of action, we recognize the need to increase global ambition and enhance collaboration, underpinned by the most ambitious sub-national, national and international action. We call on all countries to join us in action."
The G7 has committed to phasing out the unabated use of coal and direct government support for carbon-intensive fossil fuel energy, except in limited circumstances at the discretion of each country.
"That exception signals that sovereign nations continue to make their own decisions about climate and energy rules — decisions that reflect their national policies and sovereign interests in exploiting national energy resources and preserving supply security," said Christof van Agt, Director of Energy Dialogue at the IEF.
The communiqué emphasized that the focus should be on "resilience in the face of cyber security threats, the system integration of variable renewable energy, energy storage, flexible power plants, hydrogen, as well as demand side management, smart grids, and related infrastructure including the accommodation of sustainable biofuels and hydrogen."
The G7 pledged to rapidly scaling up technologies and policies that further accelerate the transition away from unabated coal capacity and to a decarbonized power system in the 2030s, as well as underscoring "the importance of providing support for affected workers, regions and communities."
It also recognized the key contribution of energy efficiency as "the first fuel" to emissions reduction, energy security, economic growth, sustainable development, alleviating energy poverty, and job creation.
The communiqué said: "We recognize that natural gas may still be needed during the clean energy transition on a time-limited basis and we will work to abate related emissions towards overwhelmingly decarbonized power systems in the 2030s." It also endorsed the use of nuclear energy in providing "affordable, low-carbon energy".
Mr McMonigle said; "The IEF believes we need to deploy carbon capture, utilization and storage, hydrogen and other technologies for our green energy transition, which will strengthen energy security, a common interest for everyone."
The IEF is the world's largest energy organization whose members account for 90 percent of the world energy market. As well as promoting dialogue on energy security, market stability and data transparency, it supports the development of new technologies to advance the energy transition.
Under the rotating presidency of the United Kingdom, G7 leaders are scheduled to meet on 11-13 June to develop a response to climate change and the pandemic. They will be joined by the European Union and guest countries India, South Korea and Australia.
The G7 has recognized that delivering and accelerating the transition to a net-zero global economy requires scaled-up international collaboration. Going forward, the G7 says an institutional architecture should be strengthened appropriately to ensure net-zero emissions on an economy-wide basis.