May 16, 2023 

Collin Rees,
Grace Nolan,

Groups Pressure Japan to Stop G7 Push to Finance Fossil Fuels; Urge Biden to Oppose Global LNG Expansion

“Every LNG terminal that comes online risks locking in decades of avoidable climate pollution and environmental injustice.”

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, ahead of the G7 summit, climate and environmental organizations gathered at the Japanese embassy to pressure officials to stop the G7 push to finance liquefied natural gas (LNG) expansion. Using its G7 Presidency, Japan is leveraging this opportunity to promote the continued use of fossil fuels and derail the transition to clean energy. The action is one of roughly 40 actions planned in 20 countries as part of a global week of action to stop Japan’s dirty energy strategy. 

Building on the efforts to stop the G7 push to finance global LNG, 120 organizations sent a sent a letter today urging the Biden administration to clarify that new LNG projects risk locking in fossil fuels for decades and to reject hydrogen-readiness as a justification to expand LNG. 

Last month, the G7 Climate and Environment Ministerial Communique stated that investment in the natural gas sector, including LNG, is only appropriate if “implemented in a manner consistent with our climate objectives and without creating lock-in effects.” The letter calls on the Biden Administration to specify that all new LNG import and export infrastructure fails this test. 

As the International Energy Agency and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have made clear, any new oil and gas investment is incompatible with preventing global temperatures from exceeding 1.5ºC. 

The group’s letter also calls for the Biden administration to:

  • Oppose efforts in the G7 to expand LNG contracting; 
  • Resist any attempt to further expedite LNG permitting across G7 countries in ways that would limit public input and weaken the assessment of climate and environmental justice impacts; 
  • Implement the Glasgow Statement to phase out its own financing of fossil fuels and call on Japan to join the rest of the G7 as a signatory; AND
  • Stop efforts to develop an international certification framework for the carbon intensity of LNG. 

Photos from Japan Embassy action in Washington DC:

Read the full letter:

In response, local and national environmental groups issued the following statements: 

“At a time when we must rapidly and equitably phase out fossil fuels, it is alarming to see Japan and other G7 members pushing for the global expansion of LNG. Every new fossil fuel project is incompatible with a livable future. If President Biden and G7 leaders fail to emerge with a strong climate outcome opposing LNG expansion, they will fail their countries and the planet. Our communities and climate cannot afford more fossil fuels, nor more dangerous distractions like carbon capture, hydrogen, or ammonia — it’s long past time to end the era of fossil fuels,” said Collin Rees, United States Program Manager at Oil Change International.

“As a resident of Southwest Louisiana, I have seen firsthand the devastating impact that gas export terminals have on our wetlands and communities. For the United States and the G7 to continue doubling down on this suicidal fossil fuel dependency — one that inflicts suffering on already overburdened communities like mine and will inflict unlivable suffering on future generations — is beyond careless. Adding more fossil fuel infrastructure is only in the short-term profiteering interest and not in the global public interest. We must prioritize protecting our people, environment, and a livable future over short-term privately-held and heavily tax-subsidized corporate profits. Environmental and climate justice are not just talking points — they require action that centers people and a livable planet. We cannot afford more deadly shortsightedness — enough is enough!” said James Hiatt, director of For a Better Bayou. 

“It is time for President Biden to take responsibility and ensure that the G7 is not co-opted for global LNG expansion and industry greenwashing. Marketing ploys like Big Oil’s so-called ‘hydrogen-ready’ LNG will only prolong our fossil fuel nightmare. The world cannot afford more dirty diplomacy,” said Lukas Ross, Senior Program Manager at Friends of the Earth U.S.

“The United States should oppose Japan’s efforts to support dead-end technologies that promote continued use of fossil fuels and derail the transition to clean energy. Japan’s soaring demand for wood biomass to burn in coal plants worsens climate change and comes at the expense of forests and communities from the southeast United States to southeast Asia,” said Amanda Hurowitz, Senior Director for Asia at Mighty Earth.

“G7 leaders — particularly the United States — must stand firm against Japan’s efforts to promote fossil gas investments and gamble on expensive technologies like ammonia and hydrogen in the power sector. 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 global clean energy transition,” said Brendan Guy, Director of International Climate at Natural Resources Defense Council.

“It is abundantly clear that any new LNG infrastructure is incompatible with preventing the worst impacts of the climate crisis or protecting overburdened communities — at home and abroad — from the impacts of industrial pollution and climate-fueled disasters. It is critical that the Biden administration walk the talk on its climate and environmental justice commitments by opposing any efforts to prop up global LNG expansion at the G7 Leaders Summit,” said Talia Calnek-Sugin, Associate Director of Legislative and Administrative Advocacy at Sierra Club.