Western Climate Officials Could Lobby For More Natural Gas Amid Energy Crunch: REPORT

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Climate and energy ministers representing the Group of Seven (G7) — an influential economic bloc which includes the U.S. — could recommend increased investment in natural gas despite their nation’s commitment to global climate change programs, Reuters reported, citing a document obtained ahead of an April 15-16 G7 climate meeting.

The ministers’ meeting will discuss methods to achieve nations’ net-zero emissions climate goals, but notes that may require “utilizing all energy sources” and the necessity of “low-cost energy in response to significant price increases,” according to a primer on the event released by the Japanese government. The group is considering releasing a statement that natural gas investments are necessary to help bring down energy costs following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to Reuters, citing a draft of the statement. (RELATED: House GOP Launches Investigation Into John Kerry Over China Talks)

“In this context, in this particular contingency, we recognize the need for necessary upstream investments in LNG (liquefied natural gas) and natural gas in line with our climate objectives and commitments,” the draft read, according to Reuters.

US’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry (L) and German Minister of Economics and Climate Protection Robert Habeck address a press conference after signing a partnership agreement during the G7 Climate, Energy and Environment Ministers Meeting in Berlin on May 27, 2022. (Photo by JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images)

While the resolution may change before it is released in its final form, the current language would be a significant win for Japan, which is hosting the meeting, Reuters reported. The country has previously called on LNG to serve as a cleaner fossil fuel to use in the transition towards green energy.

In the past, the G7 had promised to end all public support for overseas fossil fuel projects by the end of 2022, Reuters reported. The call for increased investment in natural gas runs counter to recommendations from the International Energy Agency, which has called for an end to new fossil fuel investments to curb climate change.

The Biden administration has made a transition to a net-zero emissions economy by 2050 a top priority.

The European Union — which attends G7 meetings as a guest and has been hit hard by soaring energy costs — reportedly opposed the statement, according to Reuters.

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