What’s going on here?

Global leaders at the G7 summit in Hiroshima have classed the increased use of, and investment in, methane gas as “appropriate”. This comes despite repeated warnings from scientists and the UN that we can have no new fossil fuel investment if we’re to meet climate goals.

What does this mean?

The goal of the summit is to discuss challenges the international community is facing, which of course include the climate and biodiversity crises. But the final communique from the summit stated “we stress the important role that increased deliveries of LNG [liquid natural gas] can play”. It said “publicly supported investment in the gas sector can be appropriate.” 

These statements have been criticised by climate campaigners. They argue that they “fly in the face of the latest science and undermine any credibility these seven nations hold as climate leaders”.

“If the leaders of these wealthy governments were serious about tackling the climate crisis they would join Pacific governments who are pushing to form an alliance of nations to negotiate a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. Instead, today they have chosen to side with the fossil fuel industry and attempt to justify their ongoing expansion.” 

Alex Rafalowicz, Director of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

Why should we care?

Fossil fuel companies have deliberately marketed methane gas as ‘natural gas’ in an attempt to make it seem like clean energy. But methane gas is a potent fossil fuel that has a huge impact on global heating and the climate crisis.

Research has shown that investment in methane gas slows down the transition to renewables. This is despite claims that gas is a ‘bridge’ that can help us reduce emissions. The decisions made at the G7 summit influence global politics, so this endorsement of further gas extraction may signal bad news for global climate targets.

Be Curious! 

  •  Sign the fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty and encourage your political representatives to do the same.
  • Join a campaign against fossil fuel extraction such as #StopCambo or #StopEACOP (check out our previous article about fossil fuel campaigns for more)
  • Read our articles from the front line to learn about activists in the Global South fighting against fossil fuel extraction
  •  Research shows use of the term ‘natural gas’ leads to more favourable perceptions of the fossil fuel. Contact media outlets and ask them to join publications like Heated and Vox using ‘methane’ or ‘methane gas’ instead.
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