G7 vows to step up moves to renewable energy, zero carbon - GulfToday

G7 vows to step up moves to renewable energy, zero carbon


Delegates attend the photo session of G7 Ministers' Meeting on Climate, Energy and Environment in Sapporo, Japan. Reuters

Energy and environment ministers of the Group of Seven wealthy nations vowed on Sunday to work to hasten the shift toward cleaner, renewable energy, but set no timetable for phasing out coal-fired power plants as they wrapped up two days of talks in the northern Japanese city of Sapporo.

The G-7 officials issued a communique laying out their commitments. The 36-page document was prepared in advance of a G-7 summit that will be held in Hiroshima in May.

Japan won endorsements from fellow G-7 countries for its own national strategy emphasizing so-called clean coal, hydrogen and nuclear energy to help ensure its energy security.


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"Recognizing the current global energy crisis and economic disruptions, we reaffirm our commitment to accelerating the clean energy transition to net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 at the latest,” the communique says.

It said the leaders recognized the importance of finding efficient, affordable and diverse energy sources, which "underscore our commitment to implementing immediate, short- and medium-term action in this critical decade.”

A general view shows a session of the G7 Ministers’ Meeting on Climate, Energy and Environment in Sapporo, Japan. AFP

The call to action comes as China and other developing countries step up demands for more help in phasing out fossil fuels and stabilizing energy prices and supplies amid disruptions from Russia's war on Ukraine.

The issue of setting a timeline for phasing out coal-fired power plants is a longstanding sticking point. Japan relies on coal for nearly one-third of its power generation and is also promoting the use of so-called clean coal, using technology to capture carbon emissions, to produce hydrogen - which produces only water when used as fuel.

The document issued Sunday reiterated the need to urgently reduce carbon emissions and achieve a "predominantly decarbonized power sector” by 2035.

The stipulation that it be "predominantly” clean energy leaves room for continuation of fossil-fuel fired power. But the ministers agreed to prioritize steps toward phasing out "unabated” coal power generation - plants that do not employ mechanisms to capture emissions and prevent them from escaping into the atmosphere.

"We call on and will work with other countries to end new unabated coal-fired power generation projects globally as soon as possible to accelerate the clean energy transition in a just manner,” the document says.




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