19 May 2023—Climate, human rights, and energy advocates of 180 groups from 27 countries called on G7 countries to scrap fossil fuel financing in climate-vulnerable nations as the leaders from the most powerful economies are going to meet in Hiroshima this week.

In an open letter addressed to climate and energy ministers of G7 host Japan and other six countries of this elite club, the climate advocates criticised Japan and other nations’ weak show of climate leadership after leaving loopholes for more fossil fuel investments, such as so called energy transition technologies including
ammonia and hydrogen co-firing, and gas buildout. The Climate and Energy Ministers’ Communique also failed to deliver on a deadline to end coal.

Indonesia – Climate activists in Indonesia staged an action in front of the Japanese Embassy during the G7 Leaders Summit in Japan, Friday (19/5/2023), where they submitted the open letter. More photos available here. (Photo credit: Melvinas Priananda/Trend Asia)

The groups said G7 must (1) reject Japan’s push for so called energy transition solutions, (2) end financing for all fossil fuels including fossil gas and agree to a time-bound commitment to phase out all fossil fuels; and (3) to commit to a fair and just mechanism to provide funding for energy transition.

“Climate and energy ministers fell short of their commitment to end fossil fuels – leaving the door open for investments in new fossil gas infrastructure and fossil fuel-based technologies heavily promoted by G7 host Japan,” the letter reads.

“The G7 Leaders Summit will be crucial for the world’s most powerful nations to show climate leadership. G7 must translate words into concrete actions supporting the energy transition in developing countries.”

As of writing, the letter has gained support from multi-sector organisations from Australia, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Chile, China, Ecuador, Finland, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Mongolia, Nepal, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the United States, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.

Lidy Nacpil, Coordinator, Asian Peoples Movement for Debt and Development; Convenor, Asian Energy Network: “It is no surprise that Japan, the world’s biggest public fossil fuel financier, is expanding their investment of fossil gas to other countries in Asia and trying to find way to keep coal alive. It is shameful that
world leaders have abandoned science, instead favouring the fossil fuel industry. There is no justification for investing in gas or to any false solutions such as ammonia co-firing. Japan’s vision for a future filled with gas and harmful energy systems is simply incompatible with the safe, just, and equitable future that Asia should have.”

Hiroki Osada, Campaigner, Friends of the Earth Japan: “Japan’s argument for fossil fuel expansion as a ‘realistic’ way in decarbonization in a renewable-energy-scarce Asia is wrong. Japan’s decarbonisation strategy which it aims to export around Asia goes against economic, financial and climate arguments. Furthermore, this move isolates Japan and exposes itself to worldwide criticism, which could be observed in all the worldwide civil actions held this week.”

Andri Prasetiyo, Researcher, Trend Asia: “As the world’s most powerful nation, G7 nations must stop putting developing countries in more risky, dirty, and debt-trapping energy scenarios. Instead, we are challenging G7 nations to show climate leadership by ending its addiction to fossil fuels, scrapping all efforts to promote greenwashing technologies, such as co-firing ammonia, hydrogen, or biomass, and taking advantage of the economical benefits of equitable transition anchored on renewable energy and aligned with the Paris Agreement 1.5 Scenario. Power play must stop.”

Susanne Wong, Asia Program Manager, Oil Change International: “G7 leaders are stressing the need for peace and security at this year’s summit. The surest path to peace and security requires ending our reliance on fossil fuels. We demand that G7 governments uphold and strengthen their commitment to end international
public finance for all fossil fuels and shut the door to new investments in gas.”

The open letter coincides with the Global Week of Action, which saw some 50 actions in 22 countries calling to stop Japan’s dirty energy strategy. The actions highlighted significant backlash not only from the G6 but also from the Global South against Japan’s policies which are derailing the transition to renewable energy across Asia and globally.


Read the full open letter here (English, Japanese)
Photos for editorial use (Action in Jakarta Set 1; Set 2, Action in Hiroshima)

[1] Japan has been leveraging its position as G7 host to internationalize its fossil fuel and ammonia-heavy strategies under Green Transformation (GX) policy, which will mobilize over USD1.1 trillion in public and private capital over the next 10 years to overhaul 22 industrial sectors in Japan and provide partner countries
with Japanese technology and finance.

Germany is reported to be pushing for G7 leaders to endorse public investment in the gas despite opposition
from other G7 countries, including UK and France.

Andri Prasetiyo, Researcher Trend Asia, [email protected]
Lidy Nacpil, Coordinator, APMDD; Convenor, Asia Energy Network, [email protected]
Hiroki Osada, Campaigner, Friends of the Earth Japan, [email protected]
Angeli Cantillana, Global Strategic Communications Council, [email protected] (Media

Photo credit: Melvinas Priananda/Trend Asia