G7 Ministers Pledge Faster Shift to Renewables but Set No Deadline for Coal Phase-out

The G7 environment and energy ministers have pledged to hasten the transition to cleaner, renewable energy but have set no timetable for phasing out coal-fired power plants. The group’s communique reiterated the need to urgently reduce carbon emissions and achieve a predominantly decarbonised power sector by 2035.  

The ministers called on other countries to end new unabated coal-fired power generation projects globally “as soon as possible”. They also prioritised steps toward phasing out unabated coal power generation, plants that do not employ mechanisms to capture emissions. 

The commitments “fall short of the clarion call to action that was needed,” according to climate change think tank E3G’s Alden Meyer. 

The G7 nations account for 40 percent of the world’s economic activity and a quarter of global carbon emissions. Emissions in advanced economies are falling, while emerging markets and developing economies now account for more than two-thirds of global carbon emissions.  

Concerns were also raised by world leaders (China and Brazil) on the unfulfilled $100 billion pledge made in 2009, for developing nations to combat climate change. India’s environment minister Bhupender Yadav also emphasised that “economic development is the first defence against climate change”. 

While the G7 energy and environment ministers were wrapping up their meetings in Sapporo, further south in the mountain city of Karuizawa G7 foreign ministers were grappling with other shared concerns including regional security and the war in Ukraine. 

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