April 14, 2023 – Ahead of the upcoming Climate and Energy Ministerial meeting, dozens of climate and environmental groups, primarily focused in Southeast Asia, slammed Group of Seven (G7) nations’ push for unviable energy transition technologies. Those technologies include ammonia coal co-firing, hydrogen gas co-firing, and fossil gas amid a worsening climate crisis. 

In an open letter addressed to climate and energy ministers of host nation Japan, as well as the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, and Italy, the groups demanded G7 nations to stop promoting fossil fuels to developing nations, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. 

Continued investments in fossil fuels create increased risks of stranded assets and shortfalls in government revenue, as competition with cheaper and cleaner alternatives, such as solar and wind, grows and demand for fossil fuels declines. We urge G7 leaders to take advantage of investment opportunities in clean energy and promote a just and equitable transition away from all fossil fuels,” the letter reads.

Research shows that between 2020 and 2022, the G7 poured USD73 billion in public finance in new fossil fuel projects, 2.6 times their support for clean energy over the same period. While the UK, Canada and France have delivered on their commitment to end this fossil fuel finance, Japan, Italy and Germany have not. The US claims it has delivered on its commitment, but its fossil fuel finance policy is not publicly available.

The groups expressed concern over Japan leveraging its G7 presidency to increase financing for fossil fuels and to advance its dirty energy strategy for Asia. It plans to do this through its Green Transformation (GX) policy, which aims to mobilize over USD1.1 trillion in public and private capital over the next ten years to overhaul industrial sectors in Japan and provide partner countries with Japanese technology and finance. 

A leaked draft text of the Climate and Energy Ministers’ Communiqué, dated April 5, touted false solutions, hydrogen, and ammonia, as effective tools to advance decarbonization in hard-to-abate sectors, such as industry and transportation. 

However, a recent briefing by Transition Zero, titled Japan’s toxic narrative on ammonia,” said ammonia co-firing is not aligned with the 2030 power sector emissions trajectories outlined in the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s 2050 net zero emissions (NZE) scenario. The report says, “if the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia or Thailand were to convert their entire coal fleet to run on 20% or 50% ammonia, or even unabated gas, they would still need to close or abate those plants within a few years in order to achieve their emissions goals. 

While the recent texts also showed G7 countries have backtracked on earlier language touting growing future demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG), citing “considerable uncertainty for future demand of natural gas and LNG,” the groups demanded G7 nations to stop funding fossil gas projects in developing countries. A report by Philippine-based think-tank Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development showed Japan, France, UK, US, Germany, Italy are among the top financiers of post-Paris Agreement fossil gas projects in Southeast Asia.

We demand clarity and transparency following G7 nations’ past commitment to end international public finance for fossil fuels by the end of 2022. We are also raising our demands to ensure our communities are protected from the economic and environmental consequences of fossil fuel dependence,” the letter reads. 

The letter has now gathered support from organizations in Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Japan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos, Australia, India, Papua New Guinea, Nepal, South Korea, and Sri Lanka. 



Andri Prasetiyo, Researcher, Trend Asia: “The G7 countries should take a clear standpoint and rule out transition technologies such as co-firing ammonia, hydrogen, or perhaps biomass, that only justify the continued operation of fossil thermal power generation. Instead, the focus should be on supporting developing countries to shift away from fossil fuel power generation towards a clean and equitable transition aligned with the Paris Agreement 1.5 Scenario. This approach will not only be more impactful, but also environmentally sustainable, and economically viable.”

Ayumi Fukakusa, Deputy Executive Director and Climate Change and Energy Campaigner, Friends of the Earth Japan: “Japan contributes the largest amount of public money to fossil fuel projects despite a commitment to end new international public support to the fossil fuel energy sector by the end of 2022. We urge the Japanese government to show its climate leadership by upholding commitments and scrapping investments–locally and overseas–that put communities, human rights, and the goals of the Paris Agreement at risk.” 

Lidy Nacpil, Coordinator, Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), and Convenor, Asia Energy Network (AEN): “As the G7 summit goes back to Asia, this is a prime moment to show the world the damage the G7 countries have done by pouring their money into disastrous fossil fuel projects in Asian communities. Reparations must be made and part of this is for them to deliver fully on their obligations to provide Climate Finance to the Global South. The G7 must unequivocally end continued support for fossil fuels and promotion of false solutions. Let this be the year that Japan finally stops pushing the world further into catastrophe. We cannot afford another year of excuses and empty promises. Japan, the G7, and other rich country governments need to do the utmost for a rapid, equitable, and just transition directly to renewable energy systems.”

Gerry Arances, Executive Director, Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED): “Financial institutions from G7 countries are bankrolling the expansion of fossil gas in Southeast Asia – tying climate-vulnerable peoples to decades more of destructive and costly energy, and hindering what could have been a swifter shift to a future sustainably powered by renewables. Japan and the US, in particular, are brazenly leading this, despite renewables being within our reach today much closer than ever before. Our message to the G7 is clear: we are under no illusion that fossil gas or other questionable technologies, which would only prolong the life of fossil fuels, will benefit our people in any way. What Southeast Asian countries need is a full, just, and ambitious transition to 100% renewable energy.”


Andri Prasetiyo, Researcher Trend Asia, [email protected]

Ayumi Fukakusa, Deputy Executive Director and Climate Change and Energy Campaigner, Friends of the Earth Japan, [email protected] 

Lidy Nacpil, Coordinator, APMDD; Convenor, Asia Energy Network, [email protected] 

Gerry Arances, Executive Director, CEED, [email protected] 

Photo bg Melvinas Prinanda/Trend Asia