Live Updates | G-7 leaders consider new natural gas projects
ELMAU – The latest from the G-7 Summit, the annual meeting of the major democratic economies, taking place this year in the Bavarian Alps in Germany; and on the NATO summit in Madrid, where leaders begin to gather later on Tuesday:
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is defending the decision of the Group of Seven leaders to relax their commitments to end public support for fossil fuel investments.
Leaders say the war in Ukraine means time-limited support for new natural gas extraction projects may be needed.
The G-7 countries said in a statement at the end of their three-day summit on Tuesday that “in these exceptional circumstances, state-backed investment in the gas sector may be appropriate as a temporary response.”
This contrasts in part with a previous promise made last month by G-7 climate ministers, who said the seven major economies would “align official international financing with the goals of the Paris Agreement”.
Environmental activists, scientists and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres have spoken out against any further investment in fossil fuels by rich, developed countries.
But Scholz told reporters that “the gas will be temporarily needed and that is why there can be investments that make sense, in this transition phase, and therefore need to be supported.”
One of the arguments made by German officials for supporting new natural gas development projects is that it could save them from having to burn dirtier coal to meet their energy needs.
Environmental groups say building additional pipelines and other infrastructure for increased US LNG exports to Europe and for other fossil fuels will drive increased carbon use for years to come.
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Members of the Group of Seven major democratic economies have pledged to create a new “climate club” for nations willing to take more ambitious action against global warming.
The move, championed by G-7 summit host German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, will see countries joining the club agree to tougher measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions in a bid to prevent global temperatures to increase by more than 1.5 Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) this century compared to pre-industrial times.
Countries that are part of the club will seek to harmonize their measures so that they are comparable and avoid members imposing climate-related tariffs on each other’s imports.
Speaking at the end of a three-day G-7 summit, Scholz said the aim was to “ensure that climate protection is a competitive advantage, not a disadvantage”.
He said details of the planned climate club would be finalized this year.
Leaders of the world’s wealthiest democracies have taken a united stance in supporting Ukraine “as long as necessary” as Russia’s invasion of its neighbor drags on for a fifth month.
The final statement from the Group of Seven summit in Germany on Tuesday said the countries would “explore” far-reaching measures to cap Kremlin revenues from oil sales that fund the war in Ukraine.
The statement omitted key details on how the fossil fuel price caps would work in practice, setting more talks in the coming weeks to assess measures to ban the import of Russian oil beyond a certain amount.
This would hit a key Russian source of revenue and, in theory, mitigate the energy price spikes plaguing the global economy in the wake of the war.
The leaders also agreed to ban Russian gold imports and increase aid to countries hit hard by food shortages by blocking Ukrainian grain shipments through the Black Sea.
Unity in the seven democracies’ confrontation with Putin was a key theme of the summit at a luxury resort in the Bavarian Alps.
G-7 countries have set aside $29.5 in aid to Ukraine this year, on top of $60 billion since Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region in 2014.
Group of Seven leaders agreed to spend $4.5 billion to address global food security issues, exacerbated by rising grain and food prices following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
The White House said Tuesday that the United States is allocating $2.76 billion to the effort. The funding will be used to help 47 countries and regional organizations facing food insecurity and malnutrition.
The White House says the most immediate needs are in the Horn of Africa, where Russia’s blockade of grain from Ukraine has worsened an already dire situation. The Horn of Africa is experiencing a fourth consecutive drought season, with up to 20 million people at risk of starvation by the end of the year, according to the White House.
The Biden administration said in a statement that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions “have strangled food and agricultural production and used food as a weapon of war.”
ISTANBUL — Turkey’s president said he spoke with US President Joe Biden on Tuesday morning and may meet him at this week’s NATO summit in Spain.
The White House said Biden “can’t wait” to see Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Madrid.
Erdogan said at a press conference in Ankara ahead of his departure for Spain that Biden “expressed his desire to meet again tonight or tomorrow and we said ‘possible’.”
Erdogan said the pair would discuss Turkey’s demands for upgraded F-16s, but said there were “diversionary tactics” at play. He did not elaborate.
Erdogan is infuriated by US military bases in Greece and says the US is obsessed with Turkey’s purchase of Russian-made S-400 missiles – a step that led to Ankara’s expulsion from the program. F-35 stealth aircraft.
Erdogan confirmed that he plans to meet the Swedish and Finnish leaders, as well as the NATO Secretary General, to continue discussions on Turkey’s objections to the two Nordic countries’ offers of NATO membership.
Ankara has opposed Sweden and Finland’s bid for NATO membership, citing what it sees as their lax approach to groups Turkey considers national security threats, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and its Syrian extension. US support for Syrian Kurdish fighters in the fight against the Islamic State group has also enraged Turkey for years.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said Western leaders are “working” on a plan to free millions of tonnes of grain stuck in war-torn Ukraine due to the Russian invasion.
Large amounts of corn and other grains are stuck in Ukraine – one of the world’s largest producers – and because Russian forces have blocked the country’s ports.
Asked by reporters at the start of a Tuesday meeting at the Group of Seven summit what was being done to resolve the issue, Johnson said officials were trying to find a solution.
“We’re all working on that,” Johnson said.
His comments came at the start of a meeting with US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
US President Joe Biden is leaving the Group of Seven summit in Germany earlier than expected due to bad weather.
Biden was scheduled to deliver remarks at Tuesday’s closing session of the gathering of leaders from developed economies before flying by helicopter to Munich. From there he would fly via Air Force One to Madrid for the NATO summit.
But the White House announced that with foggy conditions, low clouds and a risk of thunderstorms near the summit site, Biden is expected to ride in a motorcade part of the way to Munich.
Before his early departure, Biden met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and summit host Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
After arriving in Madrid, the US president is due to meet separately with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and King Felipe VI and attend the NATO summit opening dinner.
The developed economies of the Group of Seven conclude a summit that aims to demonstrate a long-term commitment to Ukraine’s future as its war with Russia continues.
The talks in Germany, which draw to a close on Tuesday, want to ensure that Russia pays a high price for its invasion. The goal is also to alleviate a world hunger crisis and show unity against climate change.
The leaders of the United States, Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada and Japan pledged Monday to support Ukraine “for as long as it takes”.
Later Tuesday, attention turns to Spain, where a two-day NATO summit is being held in Madrid.
Leaders of the world’s most powerful military alliance opened talks on Wednesday on increasing support for Ukraine’s fight against Russia and building up forces on NATO’s eastern flank.
They also intend to set priorities for the next decade, with a focus on checking China’s growing international ambitions.
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