Leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US, including President Obama, met in Brussels on June 4-5 for the first regular G7 summit of the last fifteen years (the group had met since the 1990s as the G8, but Russia was excluded from this meeting). On the table this year were issues concerning energy security, climate change, trade, peace and global development.
The countries discussed the viability of increasing global energy efficiency through diverse, flexible, transparent and competitive markets. They also discussed energy options for Ukraine and other European countries that obtain oil and gas from Russia. The countries denounced “the use of energy supplies as a means of political coercion or as a threat to security” as unacceptable.
The summit also touched on climate change. The Copenhagen Accord – agreed to in 2009 – calls on countries to activate $100 billion per year by 2020 in order to help less developed countries address climate change. The G7 discussed their hopes for a global climate change commitment by 2015 when there will be another G7 meeting in Germany. The countries agreed on working under the Rome G7 Initiative to build a more diverse, low–carbon energy market together, as well as with the International Energy Agency and the International Renewable Energy Agency. Options included pushing out fossil fuel subsidies and increasing the Liquefied Natural Gas market.
Current hostilities between Russia and Ukraine left the government of Vladimir Putin out of the discussions, and out of Sochi, where the summit was initially to be hosted. The seven countries agreed on an agenda to de-escalate hostilities with Russia and have denounced their annexation of Crimea. The countries also voiced their support for Ukrainian President-elect Petro Poroshenko and the imposition of sanctions on those who have impinged upon the rights of Ukrainians.
The Brussels G7 Summit Declaration can be read here.
Photo Courtesy: Prime Ministers Office, United Kingdom