Ministers Guilbeault and Wilkinson wrap up G7 Ministers' Meeting in Japan focused on climate action, clean energy, and nature protection

SAPPORO, Japan, April 17, 2023 /CNW/ – The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, have concluded this year’s G7 Ministers’ Meeting on Climate, Energy, and Environment, which took place in Sapporo, Japan, from April 15–16.  

The Ministers came to champion increased ambition on climate action, nature protection, and pollution reduction, while at the same time advancing global energy security and seizing economic opportunities for Canadian businesses, workers, communities, and Indigenous peoples.

On climate action and energy, Canada, recognizing that climate policy is security policy is economic policy, along with G7 countries:

  • Made new commitments, championed by Canada, to report by the end of the year on the progress to phase out fossil fuel subsidies and international fossil fuel finance. Canada has already ended international fossil fuel finance and is committed to phasing out fossil fuel subsidies by the end of 2023 ahead of the G7’s 2025 commitment and called on others to do the same.
  • Committed to accelerate the phase-out of unabated fossil fuels in combustion applications and called on other non-G7 countries to do the same, consistent with Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan and the need to apply large-scale decarbonizing technologies and practices to achieve net-zero.
  • Reiterated its goal to phase out unabated coal power generation consistent with a 1.5oC compatible future. As the co-chair of the Powering Past Coal Alliance, Canada is committed to phasing out unabated coal by 2030, and advocated over the weekend for the G7 and all Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries to follow.
  • Advanced a goal to decarbonize each country’s respective power sector by 2035 and welcomed the ambitious collective renewable energy targets of 150 gigawatts for offshore wind and 1 terawatt for solar photovoltaic power by 2030. In this year’s Budget, Canada has committed historic clean-energy investments and tax credits supporting good paying jobs, affordability, and clean growth.
  • Recognizing that critical minerals are essential to a secure energy transition, G7 countries affirmed that strong environmental, social, and governance standards are vital to align global security and sustainability goals and endorsed a Five Point Plan for Critical Mineral Security, which builds on Canada’s leadership with the Sustainable Critical Minerals Alliance.
  • Encouraged the use of taxonomies for sustainable finance, and noted the work being undertaken by some G7 members to develop such taxonomies to enable investment decisions to align with climate objectives.
  • Reiterated common commitments and called for increased climate ambition through the implementation of carbon markets and pricing initiatives like the Global Carbon Pricing Challenge, accelerating the phase-out of thermal coal, reducing methane emissions, and using nature-based solutions.
  • On the margins of the ministerial, Minister Wilkinson participated in a Nuclear Energy Forum co-hosted by Japan and the US, where nuclear industry players agreed to a Joint Statement on Nuclear Industrial Cooperation.

On environmental protection and pollution reduction, Canada and G7 countries:

  • Celebrated the historic adoption of the the Kunming-Montréal Global Biodiversity Framework and urged all countries to support its swift and full implementation and urgently develop and publish plans to implement their biodiversity commitments, including protecting at least 30 percent of land and water by 2030, both nationally and globally.
  • Reaffirmed their commitment to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030.
  • Committed to support global efforts to mobilize financial resources from all sources to demonstrate progress to close the global biodiversity finance gap and pushed for the successful launch of the Global Biodiversity Fund in Vancouver at the Global Environment Facility Assembly later this year.
  • Committed to end plastic pollution by 2040 and agreed to continue to work together toward an ambitious new international binding agreement on plastic pollution, including at the upcoming negotiations in May.
  • During the ministerial, Minister Guilbeault announced that Canada would contribute over $5 million to the United Nations Environment Programme to help ensure inclusive, equitable, and transparent negotiations toward an ambitious and effective legally-binding global agreement on plastic pollution and other key priorities, including nature-based solutions and methane reduction.


“The G7 is the first big international opportunity for Canada to set the tone in 2023 for an ambitious agenda on fighting climate change, protecting nature, and cutting pollution. On each of these urgent priorities, Canada pushed hard to go further and faster on our collective level of ambition among our trusted allies. We welcome the commitment by all G7 countries to accelerate efforts to phase out unabated fossil fuels and report by the end of the 2023 their progress on cutting fossil fuel subsidies, which we have intended to phase out by the end of the year. Similarly, getting G7 countries to commit to the swift and full implementation of the ambitious nature agreement signed in Montréal at COP15 was a fundamental step toward protecting at least 30 percent of land and water by 2030. This meeting has set us up well for making greater international gains in the year ahead.”

– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Canada’s G7 partners are also our biggest customers. My message to them in Japan was clear: Canada should be their supplier of choice in a net-zero world. The building of a sustainable global economy is a historic opportunity for Canadian businesses and workers. If we act strategically and with purpose, this will result in thousands and thousands of good paying jobs across all regions of Canada. It is very much my job to work to ensure Canada seizes the economic opportunities offered by the shift to a net-zero future, and I’m pleased to say we made significant progress with our G7 partners this week in Sapporo.”

– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources

Quick Facts

  • The G7 brings together Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. The G7 presidency rotates annually between member countries; Canada will host in 2025.
  • G7 members were joined by the following guest countries and institutions:
    • Guest Countries:  
    • Guest Organizations:  
      • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
      • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
      • International Energy Agency (IEA)
      • The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
      • Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
      • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
      • World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
  • At this G7 meeting Minister Guilbeault held bilateral meetings with:
    • H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, COP28 President Designate and UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change
    • John Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate
    • Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries
    • The Honourable Bhupender Yadav, India’s Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
    • Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
  • Minister Wilkinson held bilateral meetings with:
    •  Yasutoshi Nichimura, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan
    •  Jennifer Granhom, Secretary of Energy, US Department of Energy
    •  Kadri Simson, Commissioner of Energy, European Commission
    •  Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director, International Energy Agency
    •  H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, COP28 President Designate and UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change
  • Budget 2023 introduced investments of approximately $80 billion in clean energy, including incentives and tax measures to support clean electricity, clean hydrogen, and critical minerals.
  • Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Clean Air, Strong Economy advances its goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • In November 2022, Minister Wilkinson announced up to $800 million in project funding to advance Canada’s clean fuels sector.
  • In May 2021, the Government of Canada launched the Sustainable Finance Action Council to help lead the Canadian financial sector toward integrating sustainable finance into standard industry practice. In a report released in March 2023, the Sustainable Finance Action Council put forward recommendations addressing the merits, design, and implementation of a green and transition finance taxonomy for Canada.
  • Japan and Canada are founding members of the Sustainable Critical Minerals Alliance, whose goal is to drive the global uptake of environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive and responsible mining, processing, and recycling practices, and responsible critical minerals supply chains.

Associated links

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SOURCE Environment and Climate Change Canada

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