9 June 2021

David Turnbull,
Laurie van der Burg,

Civil Society Calls on G7 Leaders to CSOs call on G7 to Stop Pushing Fossil Fuels & Invest in Clean Energy

Today, 353 organizations from 58 countries released a letter calling on G7 leaders to stop financing fossil fuels; cancel debt payments in global South countries grappling with COVID-19 and climate impacts and pay their fair share of climate finance to global South countries for climate adaptation among other demands.

View the full text of the letter here.

For the latest G7 public fossil fuel finance figures and an overview of commitments made to shift public finance out of fossil fuels and into clean to date, see our Factsheet on G7 fossil fuel finance here.

The letter from CSOs comes as over 100 economists from around the globe released a letter also addressed to G7 leaders, calling for an end to all fossil fuel finance, including oil and gas alongside ending coal finance. That letter, published at the Thomson Reuters Foundation, can be found here.

Representatives from signatories of the CSO letter provided the following comments upon its release:

Nnimmo Bassey, Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Nigeria:
“Climate debt owed the Global South over years of extreme exploitation and climate abuse must be on the table now. The climate finance smokescreen must be terminated. There is a debt to be recognized and paid. That’s the way to build resilience, mitigate impacts and halt continued gross climate misbehaviours. It is time to cancel odious debts and pay the climate debt!”

Elizabeth Bast, Executive Director, Oil Change International:
“This summit should be the final G7 where discussion of fossil fuel finance is even needed. With voices of economists, scientists, global civil society and even the International Energy Agency calling for an end to financing of new fossil fuels, it’s time for the G7 to step up. Their leadership on shifting finance entirely out of fossil fuels is long overdue, and our climate and communities are suffering the consequences.”

Murray Worthy, Gas Campaign Leader, Global Witness, UK:
“This G7 must move beyond paying lip-service to the climate crisis and implement real climate action that can actually make a difference. This starts with agreeing to no expansion of fossil fuels either at home or through financing abroad. Building back better means working towards a fossil free future.”

Nick Dearden, Director, Global Justice Now, UK:
“Despite dozens of countries spending more on debt payments than healthcare and global south leaders calling for debt cancellation to fund climate action, G7 leaders have refused to do what is needed to end the debt crisis. We can’t just have warm words or debt suspensions. We need G7 governments to pursue urgent debt cancellation and, if necessary, enact legislation to bring private creditors to the table.”

Patricia Lerner, Senior Political Advisor Greenpeace International:
“Humanity is at an existential crossroads, where we can either commit to halving global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 or face climate catastrophe. The G7 has to wean itself off fossil fuels now, and influence other governments to follow suit. To survive the climate crisis we must focus on a just and green transition – that means shutting down the fossil fuel industry while supporting oil, coal and gas workers.”

Aroa de la Fuente from the Alianza Mexicana contra el Fracking, Mexico: 
“The US has taken advantage of Mexico to receive its over production of gas due to the fracking boom. Now we have pipelines and natural gas power plants all over the country and our dependence on imports is risky. Unfortunately, instead of investing in decentralized, community scale, renewable energy, there are voices calling for us to develop our shale gas potential imitating our neighbor.”

Johan Frijns, Director BankTrack, Netherlands:
“The only chance we have of steering the hundreds of billions of dollars in investments by commercial banks away from the fossil fuel industry is if governments set the example and end all bilateral and multilateral financing for new fossil fuel projects. To remain below the already dangerous 1,5 degrees temperature rise, requires a concerted and urgent shift from all financiers, public and private, away from fossil fuels towards a low carbon renewable energy economy.”

Lidy Nacpil, Coordinator, Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development, Philippines:
“We call on the G7 to commit to an immediate end of fossil fuel subsidies and chart a concrete course of action for the phaseout. To limit global warming to 1.5?, we need a swift and just transition away from coal, gas and oil to zero emissions by 2030 for all G7 countries.”

Hassan Mehedi, Coordinator, Coastal Livelihood & Environmental Action Network, Bangladesh:
“G7 countries are the biggest investors in fossil fuel industries. Their companies are supplying equipment for more than 90% of fossil fuel based power plants in Bangladesh. To save humankind, G7 countries must stop financing and promoting fossil fuels in developing countries. These countries have provided illegitimate debt to developing countries for geopolitics, profit and war business. It is time to cancel all illegitimate debt in this time of pandemic.”

May Boeve, Executive Director,
“We have had enough of world leaders sitting and talking whilst the world burns around them, with COVID-19 and climate impacts continuing to wreak havoc. In order to achieve a truly Just Recovery from both the health pandemic and climate breakdown, we need international collaboration to tackle both crises and ensure that those most affected are being taken care of. We need funds to be redirected towards guaranteeing equal access to vaccines in all developing countries, so that no one is left behind, and to real actions that go beyond net-zero empty promises. The G7 must take a decisive stance, and end all new fossil fuel investments.”