Some of the leaders of rich democracies in the Group of Seven (G7) are pushing for recognition of the need for new funding for fossil energy investments, two sources told Reuters on Sunday as European countries fought for diversification. Delegates at the annual G7 summit will discuss whether such recognition could be in line with the commitment of some countries at the United Nations COP26 to halt funding for international fossil fuel projects at the end of 2022.
“(It is possible) that the statement will say that investment in fossil energy should be possible at some point,” the EU diplomat said on the first day of the annual G7 summit in Germany this year. Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, whose country also relies on Russian supplies, told the public on Sunday that there was a short-term need for investment in gas infrastructure “in developing countries and even where”.
At a news conference on G7 investment in developing countries, Draghi told a news conference that it would be possible to upgrade such hydrogen infrastructure in the future. European countries are suffering from pressure to import energy from Russia as the Ukrainian conflict escalates, and there are growing concerns about the industrial consequences for countries that are particularly dependent on Moscow. The European Union relied on Russia for 40% of its pre-war gas needs—55% for Germany.
One source states that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, President of the G7, has included the issue of new infrastructure on the leaders’ agenda and discussions are underway to include it in the meeting’s final statement. A German government spokesman declined to comment on the latest developments. “It’s about the question: how can we achieve climate change despite the use of gas as a bridging form of energy, and how can we ensure that it is not used as an excuse to mitigate climate goals?” said a representative of the German government on Saturday.