Story at a glance:
- Wealthy nations have been funding gas projects overseas for many years.
- Poorer nations are receiving four times more money for gas projects than wind or solar.
- The U.S. is facing pressuring to stop funding gas projects.
The Group of Seven, or simply G-7, is an organization consisting of seven of the world’s richest nations: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
And while they agree that climate change is a top priority, all of the nations have broken their own climate commitments as the week before the G-7 summit begins, The Guardian reported.
Wealthy nations supplied nearly $16 billion in funding each year for low- and middle-income countries’ projects related to gas, a fossil fuel that worsens global heating, between 2017 and 2019, a new report shows. This spending is four times more than their investment in wind or solar projects through international public finance. Some say this disparity forces poorer nations to use gas and fossil fuels exclusively.
The U.S., Japan and China have put forward 48 percent of public funding toward gas projects in the global south, which benefit petroleum industries. The World Bank has chipped in 12 percent.
“As countries like Australia and the United States massively expand their liquefied natural gas exports, the public money supporting new gas infrastructure looks more geared to serving powerful interests than helping southern countries meet their needs,” Greg Muttitt, the lead author of the study and senior policy adviser, energy supply at International Institute for Sustainable Development, said.
The report also states that the new investments in gas contradict the Paris climate agreement and that there is no need for any additional investments in fossil fuels if the goal is to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, according to the International Energy Agency.
The U.K. and other European countries have already ditched plans to fund gas programs overseas, putting more pressure on the U.S. as President Biden decides whether to stop financing oil and gas projects. The U.S. Export-Import Bank also funds gas projects in Mozambique that are accused of creating public debt, increasing militarization and worsening corruption and militia violence.
“At this stage, we should no longer be putting public money into the problem, only into the solution,” Muttitt said. “Governments have to stop pushing the market in the wrong direction.”
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