Olaf Scholz has already stated that because of the consequences of the Ukraine war he no longer feels bound by the decisions of the Glasgow climate conference, where Germany pledged to end public finance for new international fossil fuel projects. Observers fear that this attitude could influence the other G7 countries in Elmau and lead to massive climate backsliding.
Leading German climate activist Luisa Neubauer fears that the G7 summit in Elmau, which takes place this weekend, will ignore important decisions of the 2021 Glasgow climate conference. She says: “We hear from expert groups that Olaf Scholz is well underway to drive international climate policy against the wall.”
She criticises the German chancellor: “He is planning to break two decisions that are relevant to climate policy: the achievements of the last UN climate conference, at which foreign financing of fossil fuel projects was excluded, and the G7 ministerial meeting, where the end of international financing of fossil expansion and infrastructure was agreed. It’s very, very alarming. The idea that the Chancellery is currently working on persuading other G7 countries to also soften these decisions is extremely disturbing. This would mean a deeper dependency on coal and gas, which ultimately means a failure of the 1.5 degree target.”
Other observers share the activist’s concerns: “In recent weeks there have been signals of countries potentially backsliding by investing in gas and LNG to replace Russian supply”, Thuli Makama, Zenzi Suhadi and Christoph Bals write in an op-ed for Climate Home. “Chancellor Scholz has been recorded saying that he intensively wants to pursue gas projects in Senegal. We hear from G7 negotiators of other G7 countries that Germany even tries to weaken in this regard the official G7 text which would undermine the 1.5C-limit.”
“When the G7 heads of states meet in Elmau later this month, they need to call time on Europe’s scramble for gas in Africa, because it is a short term solution that will backfire”, says Namibian activist Ina-Maria Shikongo. “Germany needs to lead the G7 in Elmau to end international fossil fuel finance and instead put money on the table for clean energy and energy efficiency in Africa. .”
Neubauer demands: “This G7 summit should be a courageous and confident departure away from the crisis-ridden world and into a post-fossil, value-driven era.”