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The G7 urges OPEC to play a vital role in easing global energy supply constraints. Markus Wacket and Kate Abnett are the authors of this piece

Image: Reuters Berita 24 English - Ministers from the Group of Seven countries called on OPEC to act responsibly to alleviate a global ener...

Image: Reuters

Berita 24 English - Ministers from the Group of Seven countries called on OPEC to act responsibly to alleviate a global energy shortage caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Friday, even as they announced a historic commitment to phase out coal-fired electricity.

The statement, released at the conclusion of three days of climate change negotiations in Berlin, emphasized that the world's main economies are wrestling with how to manage inflation and increased energy prices while adhering to environmental commitments.

OPEC and its partners, dubbed OPEC+, have so far refused Western proposals for a faster rise in oil production in order to bring prices down.

"We call on oil and gas producing countries to act responsibly and respond to tightening international markets, stressing that OPEC plays a critical role," read a communiqué issued at the conclusion of the G7 meeting.

"We will work with them and other partners to guarantee global energy supplies are secure and sustainable."

Ministers from the G7 group emphasized that the energy crisis will not hinder efforts to combat climate change.

On Friday, they stated their intention to work toward the phase-out of coal-fired energy, although they did not provide a timeline.

The promise was lower than one seen by Reuters in a previous draft of the final declaration, which contained a goal of ending unabated coal power generation by 2030.

According to sources acquainted with the discussions, both Japan and the United States have stated that they cannot support that deadline. Nonetheless, the vow was the first time the G7 countries agreed to abandon coal-fired power. Coal is the biggest CO2-emitting fossil fuel, and its use must decrease if the world is to escape the worst consequences of climate change.

Some countries are scrambling to buy additional non-Russian fossil fuels and burn coal to reduce their dependency on Russian supply as a result of the Ukraine conflict.

"In recent weeks and months, replacing fossil fuels from Russia has dominated the political debate and government activities," German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said at a press conference.

"However, it must be evident to us that our generation's concerns, such as preventing global warming, will not go away if we only focus on the present," he stated. "We're on the verge of running out of time."

The G7 also committed to decarbonize their power sectors primarily by 2035, and to suspend public financing for "unabated" fossil fuel projects abroad by the end of this year, unless in exceptional circumstances. Power plants that do not use technology to capture their emissions are referred to be "unabated."

The statement stated that by 2030, the road sector will be highly decarbonised, with considerable increases in the sale, share, and uptake of zero emission light duty cars.

The G7 also planned to begin publicly reporting next year on how countries are following through on a previous agreement to eliminate "inefficient" fossil fuel subsidies by 2025.

Habeck refused to say which countries had obstructed the agreement on a coal-phase-out date.

"The real question is whether we can improve on the current situation. Even if 'better' is the enemy of 'good' - more is always conceivable - I believe we have made progress with this conference "he stated

He noted that efforts to discover alternatives to Russian natural gas supplies have yielded results.

"However, we must exercise caution in order to avoid being overly successful. We don't want to establish a natural gas sector that we won't want in the next 30 or 40 years."

The G7 also agreed to take bold measures to combat plastic pollution and to step up national efforts to conserve or protect at least 30% of their own coastal and marine regions by 2030.

"The international landscape has been engulfed in clouds in recent months. War has tragically returned to Europe as a result of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin's illegal and savage invasion of Ukraine "Britain's COP26 climate talks president, Alok Sharma, said.

"The current crisis should strengthen, not weaken, our will to meet the problems we confront in climate, energy, and the environment."

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