G7 performance on energy
G7 Summit

G7 performance on energy

Can the Apulia Summit deliver on its energy plans? Historically, the G7 has performed well on its commitments in this area, but further work is essential for actionable outcomes that urgently mitigate both the energy and climate crises 

How can the G7 manage and mitigate the complex, interconnected energy challenges at the forefront of the leaders’ agenda when they meet in Apulia in June? Italy’s prime minister and G7 host Georgia Meloni has said that Italy’s geographic location enables it to become a “natural energy supply hub for Europe” through its Mattei Plan, which builds on Italy’s strategic partnerships with Africa and its Mediterranean neighbours. But can the Apulia Summit deliver? 


Due to the first oil shock in the 1970s, energy appeared in the communiqué at the leaders’ first meeting in Rambouillet in 1975. Since then, G7 leaders have dedicated an average of 10% of their communiqués to energy. Between 1975 and 1989 all but two summits – Bonn 1985 and Toronto 1988 – addressed energy.

From 1990 to 2004, the highest proportion on energy was 9% at London in 1991, and the lowest was 0.4% at Kananaskis in 2002. Between 2005 and 2014 came increases, with energy averaging 15% per summit. They peaked at L’Aquila in 2009 with 38% and sunk to 3% at Gleneagles in 2005. From 2015 to 2021, G7 summits produced fewer energy conclusions, peaking at Elmau in 2015 with 13%, falling off the agenda at the G7’s first virtual summit in March 2020, and staying low at 4% at Cornwall in 2021. 

Energy spiked to 22% at Elmau in 2022, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It stayed at 22% at the 2023 Hiroshima Summit given the ongoing conflict.


A total of 604 energy commitments have been generated at all summits from 1975 to 2023, surpassed only by the number of commitments on development.

From 1975 to 1983, 113 energy commitments were made. They peaked during the second oil shock of 1979: the summit at Tokyo made 43 energy commitments, representing 78% of the total.

The period from 1984 to 1996 had no energy commitments, apart from London in 1991 with only three (5%). 

An increase came between 1997 and 2005, with 57 commitments generated at Gleneagles in 2005 (26%). That record peak was surpassed the following year when Russia hosted its first and only
G8 summit, which produced a new high of 78 energy commitments (for 24% of the total).

Since then, the number of commitments on energy has varied: up to 41 (12%) in Heiligendamm in 2007, but none at Lough Erne in 2013, Biarritz in 2019 and the virtual summit in 2020. Cornwall in 2021 generated 14 (31%) and Elmau in 2022 made 49 (5%). Hiroshima in 2023 set a new all-time high of 85 (8%) commitments on energy.

Of all these commitments, seven have been made on eliminating inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, starting at Camp David in 2012.


Members’ compliance with their energy commitments averaged 84%, surpassing the 77% average across all subjects, as assessed by the G7 Research Group.

Compliance was high for commitments made at Genoa in 2001 with 100%; then 89% for Sea Island in 2004 and St Petersburg in 2006; then 87% for Heiligendamm in 2007 and Hokkaido-Toyako in 2008; back up to 100% for Charlevoix in 2018; and then 94% for Cornwall in 2021 and Elmau in 2022. By December 2023, the Hiroshima Summit had already achieved 100% compliance. Low compliance came for commitments made at Evian in 2003 with 61% and Camp David in 2012 with 68%.

Overall, energy compliance was led by the European Union at 95%, followed by the United States at 93%, the United Kingdom at 91%, Germany at 88% and Canada at 86%. Below the 84% average came France at 82%, Japan at 79% and Italy at 68%. 

Causes and corrections 

The highest compliance of 100% came on commitments that referenced G7 energy ministerial meetings or created G7 official-level energy bodies. High compliance also came on commitments that referred to public-private sector partnerships (95%), linked to regulatory frameworks (89%), and defined timetables for actionable outcomes (88%). Energy commitments that used highly binding language had 86%, and those with low binding language had 81%. The three commitments made since 2016 that explicitly referenced the climate, greenhouse gas emissions or decarbonisation had 86% compliance. Commitments referencing non-G7 agencies had 78%. 

At Apulia, G7 leaders can improve compliance by engaging their energy ministers to agree on highly binding commitments with defined timetables for actionable outcomes that will mitigate both the immediate energy crisis and the climate crisis now.