FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2023
Over 100 Groups Urge Biden Administration to Stop Japan’s G7 Push for LNG Expansion
New letter urges the Biden Administration to oppose the Japan-led G7 efforts to support expansion of new liquefied natural gas supplies
WASHINGTON — Today, 116 climate and environmental justice groups sent a letter to Biden Administration officials ahead of this week’s G7 meeting of climate change and environmental ministers. The letter urges U.S. officials to resist extensive fossil fuel industry lobbying and the push by Japanese officials to increase public investments in LNG — expansion that would directly undermine the Biden Administration’s climate commitments, endanger frontline communities, and exacerbate the global climate crisis.
Read the full letter: https://priceofoil.org/content/uploads/2023/04/G7-LNG-Final-Letter.pdf
The new call to action comes amid uncertainty about the G7’s direction on LNG. According to a Reuters report, some language on LNG expansion has been dropped from a draft G7 statement. Nevertheless, leaders from Japan and other countries continue to push for an endorsement of increased LNG usage, and there is no clear evidence the Biden Administration is pushing back.
“As the International Energy Agency and others have made clear, there is no preventing a 1.5C world without preventing new oil and gas investments. Every LNG terminal that comes online risks locking-in decades of avoidable climate pollution and environmental injustice. Given the pipeline of projects already under construction, it is widely expected that the global market will be glutted by mid-2025, leaving buyers trapped in inflexible long-term contracts and delaying the replacement of methane gas with cheaper renewables and efficiency,” the letter reads.
LNG is chilled and liquified gas extracted by fracking and drilling oil and gas wells. Communities living near these dangerous facilities face extreme health risks due to the high amounts of harmful pollutants released by LNG production and export terminals. Moreover, investments in LNG threaten global commitments to reduce emissions and keep global temperature rise below 1.5ºC – every fraction of a degree beyond which the impacts of the climate crisis magnify. Grassroots and national campaigns to stop LNG expansion are gaining momentum, as today’s letter and a potential change to G7 language illustrates.
In response, local and national environmental groups issued the following statements:
“The United States was a leader on climate at the G7 as the world began to transition off coal, and we hope President Biden and his team step up once again to end the era of all fossil fuels,” said Collin Rees, United States Program Manager at Oil Change International. “Japan’s reckless boosting of LNG expansion and finance for new oil and gas threatens international progress on climate and would take us in a dangerous direction.”
“At a time when climate change-driven extreme weather events and public health crises are on the rise, now is not the time to give the fossil fuel industry even more handouts,” said James Hiatt, Founder and Director of For a Better Bayou. “It is critical that decision-makers in the United States talk to and visit the communities most affected by the buildout of fossil fuel infrastructure before investing and expanding Liquified Natural Gas terminals. President Biden must oppose the proposed global investments in LNG for the sake of our communities, climate, and future.”
“President Biden can’t let LNG hijack the G7,” said Lukas Ross, Program Manager at Friends of the Earth U.S. “The global LNG boom must be stopped in its tracks. Climate leadership and dirty diplomacy don’t mix.”
“The era of fossil fuels is rapidly coming to an end, and any efforts to prolong the lifespan of LNG and methane gas is in direct conflict with our globally agreed-upon climate goals,” said Cherelle Blazer, Senior International Climate and Policy Campaign Director at Sierra Club. “The world’s foremost scientists have told us everything we need to know — the future will be dire if we do not rapidly transition to a 100 percent clean energy economy. There is no justification for any country to support the expansion of LNG projects anywhere when there are cleaner, safer, and more reliable energy alternatives readily available. The Sierra Club calls on the United States to use its influence to keep the G7 gathering on a path to clean energy and resist the efforts of Japan and the gas industry to prop up unsustainable LNG projects.”
“G7 countries — particularly the United States — must stand firm against Japan’s efforts to promote fossil gas investments,” said Brendan Guy, International Climate Director at Natural Resources Defense Council. “The world’s leading scientific and energy authorities, from the IPCC to the IEA, have emphasized new fossil gas investments are starkly inconsistent with global climate goals and environmental justice. The world simply cannot afford G7 backsliding when they need to be turbocharging the clean energy transition.”
“Not only does any expansion of gas infrastructure in Texas and Louisiana have profound climate implications for the entire planet, the corporations who have the ear of G7 leaders exploit Gulf South communities for purely selfish reasons,” said Jeffrey Jacoby, Deputy Director at Texas Campaign for the Environment. “Any politician who believes the Chenieres or Sempras of the world are acting in the ‘public interest’ just needs to visit Corpus Christi, Texas or Lake Charles, Louisiana and talk to the people who live there to know that LNG is a racist, climate-wrecking racket.”