The leaders of the G-7 met in Brussels on June 4-5 after the previously scheduled G-8 Summit in Sochi, Russia, was cancelled when G-7 leaders suspended Russia’s participation in response to its violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The G-7 is a group of like-minded, advanced industrial economies capable of acting together to advance common interests across the full range of its economic, security and development priorities.
RUSSIA AND UKRAINE
G-7 leaders discussed the situation in Ukraine and stand united in support of the efforts of the people of Ukraine to build a deeper and stronger democracy that accommodates the rights and aspirations of all people in all regions of Ukraine. Despite violence and intimidation, strong voter turnout for the May 25 presidential election underscores the determination of Ukraine’s citizens to determine the future of their country. Against this backdrop, G-7 leaders discussed their commitment to support Ukraine as it works to unite the country and transition to an inclusive democracy and prosperous market-driven economy and their determination to raise the cost for Russia of continued actions to undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Response to Russian Actions
G-7 leaders also agreed that coordinated actions must continue to raise the cost of Russia’s unacceptable interference in Ukraine, including the occupation of Crimea in violation of international law and the ongoing efforts to destabilize Ukraine’s east and south. G-7 leaders have taken a number of steps to impose economic costs on Russia and committed to take further intensified measures if needed. Specifically, all G-7 members have:
- Imposed sanctions on individuals and entities who have actively supported or implemented the violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity or who are threatening the peace, security, and stability of Ukraine.
- Committed to supporting a diplomatic solution and called on Russia to fulfill the commitments it made in the Geneva Joint Statement to pursue a diplomatic path and cooperation with the government of Ukraine as it implements it plans for promoting peace, unity, and reform.
- Called on Russia to recognize the results of the Ukrainian election, complete the withdrawal of its military forces on the border with Ukraine, stop the flow of weapons and militants across the border, and exercise its influence among armed separatists to lay down their weapons and renounce violence.
- Affirmed their readiness to intensify targeted sanctions and to implement significant additional restrictive measures to impose further costs on Russia if necessary.
Support for Ukraine
G-7 leaders pledged to support Ukraine as it pursues reforms needed to transform its economy.
- The G-7, IMF, and World Bank together have disbursed around $5 billion in rapid macroeconomic support for Ukraine in May 2014, including a $1 billion loan guarantee from the United States. Over the next two years, the international community will provide around $27 billion to support Ukraine, anchored by Ukraine’s $17 billion IMF program, provided that Ukraine continues to pursue reforms.
- The G-7 will help Ukraine implement its own reform plans in crucial areas including reforming its constitution, stabilizing the economy, fighting corruption, strengthening energy security and improving the business environment and investment climate. The United States has committed $50 million in additional assistance to support these efforts.
- The G-7 committed to create a donor coordination mechanism to ensure the success of efforts to support Ukraine’s reform process and promote the effective delivery of resources committed to Ukraine’s stabilization and reform.
ENERGY SECURITY AND CLIMATE
The crisis in Ukraine has brought energy security to the forefront of the G-7’s agenda. Following the meeting of Energy Ministers convened on May 5-6 in Rome at the request of G-7 leaders to chart a coordinated strategy to strengthen energy security across the G-7, in Brussels G-7 leaders agreed on new commitments to enhanced energy security.
G-7 leaders denounced the use of energy supplies as a tool of political coercion, affirmed core principles to guide energy policy, and identified steps to enhance their shared energy security. This incorporates continued commitment to promote low carbon technologies and development of a more integrated and secure global natural gas market. G-7 leaders have directed their energy ministers to undertake concrete steps to advance these goals in the coming year, including:
Energy Security Assessments: Each G-7 country, and other interested countries, will conduct a comprehensive assessment of its energy system to identify ways to increase the resilience of critical infrastructure, transit routes, supply chains and transport. These assessments will evaluate G-7 countries’ ability to respond to a variety of potential disruptions and guide commitments to increase the diversity of supplies and modernize energy infrastructure. Earlier this year, President Obama announced the first ever Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), which will be completed by January 2015 and will identify threats, risks, and opportunities to U.S. energy transmission and distribution infrastructure.
Contingency Plans for Winter: Advance planning can dramatically enhance a country’s capacity to respond to a temporary energy disruption, ahead of colder winter months, and G-7 leaders therefore committed to help develop emergency energy plans in Europe for next winter, complementing the work of the European Commission. To support these efforts, the United States will provide technical assistance to help Central and Eastern European countries develop contingency plans for this coming winter to ensure provision of essential service in the event of an energy disruption.
Ukraine Energy Assistance: G-7 leaders pledged to accelerate help for Ukraine and other European countries seeking to develop their own hydrocarbon resources and renewable energies, as well as to improve energy efficiency. Working bilaterally and through international organizations, G-7 countries intend to provide technical assistance and leverage private sector investment. The United States is advancing programs to help Ukraine safely and responsibly develop domestic natural gas resources, reform the energy sector, reduce wasteful energy consumption, expand “reverse flow” pipeline connections with its neighbors, and diversify nuclear fuel sources.
G-7 leaders agreed that concrete action on climate change is an essential complement to steps to strengthen energy security.
2015 Climate Agreement: Leaders share a strong commitment to reaching a new global climate agreement in 2015 that is ambitious and reflects changing global circumstances. The largest developed economies must lead by example by putting forward national emission reduction contributions by March 2015. Earlier this week, the Obama Administration sent a powerful signal by unveiling one of the most ambitious national climate actions proposed by any country: a proposed domestic rule that would reduce emissions from existing power plants by 30 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, a reduction of over 700 million tons per year.
Addressing Short-Lived Climate Pollutants: In addition to reaffirming their determination to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under the Montreal Protocol, G-7 leaders committed to promote the rapid deployment of climate-friendly and safe alternatives to HFCs in motor vehicle air-conditioning and to promote public procurement of climate-friendly HFC alternatives. These concrete actions signal the G-7’s commitment to take action on highly potent greenhouse gases. In addition, the United States is moving forward with two separate HFC-related regulatory actions under the Clean Air Act. The first is expanding the list of climate-friendly alternatives to HFCs. The second will propose to prohibit the use of certain HFCs for specific applications, including in motor vehicle air conditioning. Both proposed rules will be issued during summer 2014.
Green Climate Fund (GCF): The G-7 leaders noted their ongoing commitment to climate finance and welcomed recent progress by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board that will enable the launch of the fund’s resource mobilization process later this year. The United States has been working alongside other board members to encourage the design of an effective, innovative, and efficient GCF that can catalyze private investment in green and low-carbon infrastructure.
Reducing Incentives for Carbon-Intensive Investment: Promoting green finance flows requires a complementary commitment to reducing incentives for high-carbon investment and aligning official financing practices with climate objectives, including through the work of export credit agencies. G-7 leaders agreed on the need for continued work in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to shift export credit flows away from carbon intensive investment. Last year, the United States became the first country to end public financing, including through export credit support, for new conventional coal plants overseas except in rare circumstances.
Development has been a longstanding common priority of G-7 leaders, and this year was no different. The United States and the G-7 are the world’s leading donors to global development and are strongly committed to working with partner nations to promote inclusive and resilient economic growth, expand access to power, promote food security and nutrition, and improve health by advancing global health security and supporting the GAVI Alliance and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. G-7 leaders agreed on a number of shared priorities:
- Global Health Security: G-7 leaders committed to support the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) to accelerate progress toward a world safe and secure from infectious diseases. G-7 leaders pledged to develop concrete commitments in coordination with partners to advance the GHSA and implement the World Health Organization (WHO) International Health Regulations (IHR); address capability needs in West Africa underscored by the recent Ebola outbreak; and support a Global Action Plan on antimicrobial resistance in close cooperation with the WHO. The United States has published specific targets to measure its support for at least 30 nations over the next 5 years and will host a White House event on September 26 for partners to highlight new commitments and review progress.
- GAVI and The Global Fund: In Brussels, leaders committed to support a successful replenishment of the GAVI Alliance hosted by Germany in 2015 to support efforts to end preventable child deaths. The President is seeking to increase our commitment to this essential global institution to $200 million in the FY2015 budget. Leaders also welcomed the successful replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, hosted by the United States in December 2013, which leveraged over $12 billion to fund effective programs in high burden and low-income countries.
- Support for Complex Contract Negotiations: In response to direct requests from the African Union and other developing countries during the 2013 G-8 Summit in Loch Erne, Northern Ireland, the G-7 announced the creation of a new platform to support developing countries with complex contract negotiations, especially with multinational companies in the extractives sector. In order to provide faster and more effective in-kind support for complex contract negotiations, G-7 leaders committed to centralize resources and recommendations to connect countries in need of assistance to existing assistance providers. G-7 leaders also committed to establish a G-7-led steering committee to lead the further process of improving expert assistance for negotiation support, including identifying any gaps in existing assistance as a first step toward developing rapid response teams to provide contract negotiation assistance to developing countries as soon as it is needed. The platform will launch on June 17 in New York in association with the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment at Columbia University.
- Food Security and Nutrition: G-7 leaders continue to strongly support comprehensive approaches to achieve global food security and nutrition and welcomed the progress made by the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition under strong African leadership. Two years after its launch at the 2012 Camp David Summit, the New Alliance has grown to ten African countries, more than 160 companies, and approximately $7 billion in planned investments, of which $970 million were realized in 2013. Leaders also welcomed the successful completion of principles for responsible agricultural investment by the Committee on World Food Security, reaffirmed their support for the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme, and supported the consistent implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests.
- Post-2015 Development Agenda: To chart the development agenda in the years to come, the G-7 agreed on the importance of an ambitious and universal post-2015 agenda, anchored in a set of clear and measurable targets, that delivers on the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals and is focused on eradicating extreme poverty and addressing climate change.
Source: White House