The Biden administration is on the verge of breaking their climate promises, again. We’ve already told you about the disastrous decision to permit the Willow Arctic Oil project, which there’s still time for the Administration to reverse, if they’re serious about climate action.
But now there’s news from the so-called G7 meeting, this is a trade and industry meeting between the seven biggest economies on earth. News reports say G7 climate ministers are being pushed by the US to support investments in new fossil gas and LNG infrastructure, even though such investment would specifically and directly violate their own climate goals and promises. Those promises include President Biden’s pledge to cut global warming pollution in half by 2030 and to “net zero” by 2050; and the G7’s own promise to stop funding fossil fuels by the end of 2022.
Here’s the latest news from the G7: Climate ministers from G7 countries will meet later this week in Japan. The meeting is intended to agree on how the seven biggest economies on earth will respond to the climate crisis, and what sorts of investments they’ll make in clean energy, or in fossil fuels.
A leaked draft of this climate and energy statement says that the G7 will break their promise not to invest in more fossil fuels, and instead fund a massive buildout of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), especially from the US to Japan and Europe, in response Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine, and its ongoing disruption of global energy markets.
Doing so would be the exact opposite of what energy and climate experts have been telling the G7 for months now – especially the most-recent research from the UN IPCC and the International Energy Agency. Those reports have been painfully clear that to keep climate change below the target of 1.5-2 degrees celsius, no new fossil fuel infrastructure can be built, and the world must dramatically reduce fossil fuel use this decade, starting with big ‘developed’ economies like the G7.
Coming on the heels of the Willow decision, and amid a protracted fight over the largest sale of oil and gas drilling rights in US history — so-called lease sale 259 in the Gulf of Mexico — this represents a critical moment of decision for the Biden Administration. President Biden can either keep his promises, declare a climate emergency, and stop permitting fossil fuels. Or he can continue on the path he’s on now, and break every promise he made to voters, international leaders, and his own grandchildren by approving more fossil fuels.
The fossil fuel industry made record profits last year, with exports of LNG leading the way for many of the biggest US companies. Meanwhile, an estimated 60% of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck, struggling to make ends meet against rampant inflation and booming energy bills.
Expanded LNG exports drive up prices for American consumers, leaving us with higher energy bills. These greedy corporations are already engaged in war profiteering, funding fascism, and worse. And now, they’re trying to buy, bully, and cajole President Biden into doing what they want. They’ve already won two important victories this year — Getting the president to approve the Willow Arctic oil project despite his reservations, and forcing him to move ahead with a massive sale of oil and gas leases in the Gulf as part of the deal to pass the Inflation Reduction Act last year.
The only right answer for President Biden is a clean break. By declaring a climate emergency, he can claw back bad decisions like Willow and lease sale 259. He can keep is promise to the G7 and to his own voters to stop permitting fossil fuel extraction and expansion – especially on lands and waters directly owned or managed by the US Government. And most importantly he can get himself back on track to meet his own promise to cut global warming pollution in half by 2030 — which is still what the science says is necessary and the only measure that counts.
PS – a lot of the info about the G7 and LNG today comes from our friends at Action for the Climate Emergency (ACE). Check out their toolkit to spread the word!