G7 agrees to phase out coal-fired power plants by mid-2030s

G7 energy and climate ministers agreed a timeframe Tuesday for phasing out coal-fired power plants, setting a goal in the mid-2030s, in a move hailed as significant by some environmentalists but described as "too late" by others.

The Group of Seven two-day meeting in Turin is the first big political session since the world pledged at the U.N.'s COP28 annual climate summit in Dubai in December to transition away from coal, oil and gas.

The G7 commits to "phase out existing unabated coal power generation in our energy systems during the first half of 2030s," the final statement read.

However it left some wiggle room, saying nations could follow "a timeline consistent with keeping a limit of 1.5-degrees-Celsius temperature rise within reach, in line with countries' net zero pathways".

It also preserves a place for coal power if it is "abated", meaning its emissions are captured or limited by technology — something panned by many as unproven and a distraction from cutting fossil fuel use.

The G7 members are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Negotiations over a fixed date were reportedly tricky. Some countries, and many environmentalists, had been pushing for a 2030 limit, but Japan — which relies heavily on coal — was reluctant to set a date at all.

The leaders of the G7 countries will produce their own statement after a summit in southern Italy in June.

  'What about gas?' 

The 2015 Paris Agreement saw countries agree to cap global warming at "well below" 2C above preindustrial times — with a safer limit of 1.5C if possible.

To keep the 1.5C limit in play, the U.N.'s climate expert panel has said emissions need to be slashed almost in...

Continue reading on: