G7 Declaration Highlights Energy Security, Climate Change, Sustainable Development

g7-eu5 June 2014: The Presidents of the European Council and European Commission (EC) have gathered with leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US for a G7 Summit, during which they discussed issues related to Ukraine and global foreign policy issues, as well as energy, climate, economy and development, among others. The resulting Brussels G7 Summit Declaration addresses each of these issues and affirms the G7's commitment to “the values of freedom and democracy, and their universality and to fostering peace and security.”

On energy security, the Declaration states that the use of "energy supplies as a means of political coercion or as a threat to security is unacceptable.” It endorses the principles of the Rome G7 Energy Initiative, agreed to in May 2014, as a guide to domestic policies for building a “more competitive, diversified, resilient and low-carbon energy system.” These principles include the diversification of energy fuels, sources and routes; development of flexible, transparent and competitive energy markets; and enhancement of energy efficiency.

The Declaration suggests a number of immediate actions on energy, inter alia: support for the EC to develop emergency regional energy plans for winter 2014-2015; collaboration with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and other international institutions to help Ukraine and other European countries develop domestic hydrocarbon and renewable energy sources; and cooperation with the International Energy Agency (IEA) to develop options for gas security.

On climate change, the Declaration recognizes the need for “urgent and concrete action” on climate change as called for in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) and underscores the determination of G7 countries to reach a global agreement on climate change in 2015 “that is ambitious, inclusive and reflects changing global circumstances.” It affirms support for the Copenhagen Accord commitments to mobilize $100 billion per year by 2020 and for various other measures, including eliminating inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.

On development, the Declaration highlights sustainable and inclusive development and greater prosperity for all as a “foundational commitment that unites our people and our countries,” underscoring the G7's commitment to reach and implement an “ambitious and universal post-2015 agenda.” It recognizes several development initiatives and agendas, including: the promotion of inclusive and resilient growth in Africa; improvement of maternal, newborn, and child health under the Muskoka Initiative; the impact of the GAVI Alliance (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation) and its efforts to expand access to vaccines; and advancement of global food security through the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition.

Among the other elements in the Declaration, the G7 leaders commit to "liberalising trade in environmental goods and services, including through an Environmental Goods agreement" and to "work to conclude an expanded Information Technology Agreement as soon as possible."

The meeting, held in Brussels, Belgium, from 4-5 June 2014, was the first G7 Summit hosted by the European Union (EU) and the first regular G7 Summit in the last fifteen years. The next Summit will take place under the Presidency of Germany in 2015. [EC Summit Website] [The Brussels G7 Summit Declaration]