The Group of Seven nations announced on Friday that they plan to largely cut greenhouse gas emissions from energy industry by 2035, meaning that these countries wouldn’t be able to burn coal for energy after the date.
Environment ministers of G7 nations gathering in Berlin last week declared after the meeting that they have established a goal of having a “highly decarbonized road sector by 2030,” implying that electric vehicles will dominate new car sales by the end of the decade.
Coal combustion contributes to one fifth of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. While there are measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from burning process, experts say it is difficult to get to zero. Coal will thus be the first fossil fuel to be phased out.
In an effort to address the gap between developed countries and developing countries regarding climate actions, the G7 recognized for the first time the need to provide developing countries with more financial aid to cope with the loss and damage caused by global warming.
The agreements will be presented to G7 nation leaders next month at the summit in Elmau, Germany.
G7 members like the UK, France, and Italy have already set timelines to phase out coal-fired power plants in the coming years. Germany and Canada are aiming for 2030, and the Biden administration has set a goal of eliminating the use of fossil fuels in energy generation in the United States by 2035.
In addition, the Group of 20 economies will hold annual summit in November in Indonesia. Since these emerging countries account for 80% of global emissions, their climate pledges play a key role in the fight against climate change. However, countries such as China, India and Indonesia remain largely dependent on coal, it will thus be difficult to get all 20 nations to sign on to the ambitious targets.
The accords agreed in Berlin were described as “very comprehensive and forward-leaning” by US climate envoy John Kerry, adding that they will lay the foundation for what has to happen at the G20 summit.