G7 Nations Commit to Produce Carbon-free Electricity by 2035
The commitment involves accelerating the phasing out of coal by 2050
The Group of Seven (G7) nations pledged to phase out coal and achieve carbon-free electricity production by 2035. The agreement was reached during a two-day conference held in Sapporo, Japan, in preparation for the G7 summit scheduled to take place in Hiroshima in May.
The G7 nations, which account for 40% of the world’s economic activity and a quarter of global carbon emissions, play a critical role in mitigating the impacts of climate change.
Further, the participants committed to accelerating investments in solar and wind energy, aiming to produce 1,000 GW of solar power and 150 GW of wind power from offshore platforms by 2030.
This aligns with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommendations to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century.
The agreement also reaffirmed the incompatibility of fossil fuel subsidies with the goals of the Paris Agreement and emphasized the importance of phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.
The participants pledged to eliminate such subsidies by 2025.
The final agreement also stated that the G7 countries had ended new direct government support for international thermal coal power generation by the end of 2021 and public support for the international unabated fossil fuel energy sector by 2022.
The leaders called on other countries to end new unabated coal-fired power generation projects globally as soon as possible and prioritize steps towards phasing out “unabated” coal power generation.
The president-designate for the next United Nations climate talks urged G7 nations to increase financial support for developing countries’ transitions to clean energy.
Developed countries must follow through on a $100 billion pledge they made at the 2009 COP15 meeting.
The Chinese and Brazilian presidents issued a joint statement saying that funding provided by developed countries continues to fall short of the commitment of $100 billion per year.
The G7 ministers’ commitment to accelerating the transition to clean energy is a significant development in the global effort to address climate change. However, it will require sustained effort and investment to achieve the goals outlined in the communiqué.
The transition to clean energy will also require significant investment in renewable energy infrastructure and technology. This will require collaboration between governments, the private sector, and civil society to mobilize the necessary resources and expertise.
According to the independent think tank, Ember, solar and wind energy comprised 12% of the electricity generated globally in 2022, leading to a record low carbon intensity of 436 gCO2/kWh.
Last October, the International Energy Agency (IEA) had forecast that global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion would grow by just under 1% this year as the strong expansion of renewables and electric vehicles will prevent a sharper rise.