June 28, 2022

The Hill: G-7 Nations Endorse Investing in Natural Gas amid Russia Crisis

The Group of Seven (G-7) countries are endorsing investments in natural gas as many seek to reduce their dependence on Russian fuels. 

In a communique issued on Tuesday, the group, which is made up of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the U.S., also backed increased deliveries of the fuel.

“In this context and with a view to accelerating the phase out of our dependency on Russian energy, we stress the important role increased deliveries of [liquified natural gas] can play, and acknowledge that investment in this sector is necessary in response to the current crisis,” their statement said. 

The G-7 nations elaborated that in some cases, government investment in the gas sector can be “appropriate as a temporary response.”

The support for the fossil fuel comes as Russia has moved to cut off gas supplies to several countries when they have refused to pay for it in Russian rubles. 

Russia has long been a major supplier of European gas, providing 40 percent of the gas consumed in the European Union in 2021

However, the endorsement miffed climate advocates, who argue that the countries should be moving more towards energy sources that don’t contribute to global warming. 

“Public support for gas infrastructure is not the climate presidency Joe Biden promised. Climate activists will not sit idly by while our tax dollars lock in another generation of extraction,” said a statement from Kate DeAngelis, international finance program manager for Friends of the Earth U.S. 

“The G-7 countries are failing as true climate leaders by abandoning their Glasgow commitments and holding up LNG as an energy response,” DeAngelis said. 

The G-7 memo also floated the idea of putting a previously discussed price cap on Russian oil, saying that the group may do so by banning services that help Russian oil travel by sea, unless the oil is purchased below a certain price.

“As for oil, we will consider a range of approaches, including options for a possible comprehensive prohibition of all services, which enable transportation of Russian seaborne crude oil and petroleum products globally, unless the oil is purchased at or below a price to be agreed in consultation with international partners,” the statement said. 

Additionally, the countries said they hope to create an international “Climate Club” by the end of this year.