G7 leaders called on the need for major economies to accelerate climate actions, while ensuring energy security through steps including investment in the gas sector in response to the current energy crisis and potential gas supply shortfalls.

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The G7 Hiroshima Summit showed "unwavering solidarity" between the G7 and Ukraine through attendance May 21 by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said following the end of the summit in Japan.

"We will continue severe sanctions on Russia and strong support to Ukraine in order to end Russia's invasion of Ukraine as soon as possible," said Kishida, who chaired the Hiroshima Summit.

"We confirmed this point as a solemn promise at this summit. We believe it is important to prevent detour and evasion of sanctions on Russia through third countries in order to make the sanctions more effective," he said, referring to the G7's outreach for cooperation from many other countries beyond the G7.

The G7 leaders called on major economies to revisit and strengthen the 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution targets and their long term low GHG emission development Strategies, or LTS, before the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference, or COP28, in Dubai later this year.

"We underscore that every major economy should have significantly enhanced the ambition of its NDC since the Paris Agreement; already peaked its GHG emissions or indicated that it will do so no later than 2025; and in particular, included economy-wide absolute reduction targets and that cover all GHGs in its NDC," the leaders said in the G7 Hiroshima Leaders' Communique May 20, a day ahead of the scheduled end of the G7 Hiroshima Summit in Japan.

The G7 Hiroshima Summit was also attended by Australia, Brazil, Comoros (African Union Chair), Cook Islands (Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Chair), India (G20 Presidency), Indonesia (ASEAN Chair), South Korea and Vietnam.

"We call on all Parties -- especially major economies -- whose 2030 NDC targets or long term low GHG emission development Strategies are not yet aligned with a 1.5 degree Celsius pathway and net zero by 2050 at the latest, to revisit and strengthen the 2030 NDC targets and publish or update their LTSs as soon as possible and well before COP28, and to commit to net zero by 2050 at the latest," the G7 leaders said, while calling for all parties to commit at COP28 to peak global GHG emissions immediately and by no later than 2025.

The G7 leaders said the expected first global stocktake, which looks at where the world stands on climate action and identifying gaps on pathways toward 2030 and beyond, at COP28, should result in enhanced, immediate and ambitious actions across mitigation, adaptation, means of implementation and support.

"We call on all Parties to submit their next round of NDCs and LTSs well ahead of COP30 that are informed by the outcomes of the GST, reflecting economy-wide absolute reduction targets including all GHGs, sectors and categories," the G7 leaders' communique showed.

"These should reflect significantly enhanced ambition aligned with a 1.5 degree Celsius pathway and should also include their revisited and strengthened 2030 targets," the leaders said.

Unabated coal

According to the G7 leaders' communique, the leaders strengthened the April 16 agreement reached at the G7 Sapporo climate and energy ministerial meeting, when ministers recognized the need to end the construction of new unabated coal-fired power generation.

"We will work towards ending the construction of new unabated coal fired power generation," the G7 leaders said.

"We call on and will work with other countries to end new unabated coal-fired power generation projects globally as soon as possible to accelerate the clean energy transition in a just manner."

Given G7 members' varying positions with regards to abolishing coal-fired power generation with a timeline, this was a disputed area for building consensus toward phasing out the largest fossil fuel-based CO2 emitter of power generation.

Notwithstanding the absence of specific timelines, the G7 leaders for the first time underlined their commitment to accelerate the phase-out of unabated fossil fuels to achieve net zero in energy systems by 2050 at the latest in line with the trajectories required to limit global average temperatures to 1.5 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The G7 leaders also endorsed a G7 Sapporo agreement to pursue a common goal of net zero by 2050 through "various pathways" depending on each country's energy situation, industrial and social structures and geographical conditions.

As a potential 1.5 degree Celsius pathway, the leaders recognized that low-carbon and renewable hydrogen and its derivatives such as ammonia "should be developed and used" and the use can act as "effective emission reduction tools to advance decarbonization across sectors and industries, notably in hard-to-abate sectors in industry and transportation."

In the face of the need to accelerate the deployment of renewables, the leaders said the G7 contributed to expanding renewable energy globally and bringing down costs through steps including through a collective increase in offshore wind capacity of 150 GW by 2030 and a collective increase of solar PV to more than 1 TW by 2030.

Gas investment

Addressing the global impact of Russia's war on energy supplies, gas prices and inflation, the G7 leaders said it was necessary to accelerate the phase out of Russian energy dependency, including through energy savings and gas demand reduction, in a manner consistent with its Paris commitments.

"In this context, we stress the important role that increased deliveries of LNG can play, and acknowledge that investment in the sector can be appropriate in response to the current crisis and to address potential gas market shortfalls provoked by the crisis," the G7 leaders said in the communique.

The role of natural gas was another area where differences among G7 members existed and were in the process of building consensus.

"In the exceptional circumstance of accelerating the phase out of our dependency on Russian energy, publicly supported investment in the gas sector can be appropriate as a temporary response, subject to clearly defined national circumstances, if implemented in a manner consistent with our climate objectives without creating lock-in effects, for example by ensuring that projects are integrated into national strategies for the development of low-carbon and renewable hydrogen."

Critical minerals

The G7 leaders are determined to increase efforts toward clean energy economy and "in particular, will pursue secure, resilient, affordable, and sustainable clean energy supply chains, including those for critical minerals and clean energy technologies."

The leaders also reaffirmed the growing importance of critical minerals in various fields, especially for the global clean energy transition, and the need to manage economic and security risks caused by vulnerable supply chains.

"We support open, fair, transparent, secure, diverse, sustainable, traceable, rules and market-based trade in critical minerals, oppose market-distorting practices and monopolistic policies on critical minerals, and reaffirm the need to build resilient, robust, responsible, and transparent critical mineral supply chains," the leaders said in the communique.

The G7 leaders welcomed joint efforts to diversify supply chains including the refining and processing of critical minerals through such efforts as the Minerals Security Partnership.

"We will support local value creation in critical minerals supply chains in line with the WTO rules," the G7 leaders said. "We will promote domestic and international recycling of critical minerals in collaboration with developing countries."

Critical minerals have become a larger focus at G7 meetings in recent years as part of efforts to reach net-zero economies by 2050. Demand for lithium, nickel, cobalt and other metals needed for batteries and electrification technologies was expected to soar, but supply chains to bring these commodities to market faced numerous challenges.

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