G7 agrees to end coal-fired power plants by 2035

‘Too little, too late,’ says Greenpeace, as G7 eyes coal phase out by 2035

Stuti Mishra
Asia Climate Correspondent
Tuesday 30 April 2024 05:50 BST
G7 agrees to end coal-fired power plants by 2035

The group of seven of the world’s biggest economies (G7) have agreed to put an end date on coal-fired power plants in a “historic” agreement which could pave the way for other countries to do the same.

In an ongoing ministerial meeting of the G7 in Turin, Italy, ministers agreed to phase out coal by 2035, Gilberto Pichetto Fratin, who is chairing the meeting, announced.

“There is a technical agreement, we will seal the final political deal on Tuesday,” Mr Fratin, who is also Italy’s energy minister, said.

While Mr Fratin said the countries have an “agreement to phase out coal in the first half of the 2030s”, the final text, which is due on Tuesday, will provide clarity on whether the deal includes a specific timeline for the phase-out and covers all coal power plants or only those without carbon capture technology.

A European source told AFP news agency that the G7 is expected to commit to “phase out existing unabated coal power generation”.

Putting an end to coal – the most polluting of all fossil fuels – has been a contentious issue in international climate talks. The United Nations Climate Change Conference (Cop28) in Dubai last year called for transitioning away from fossil fuels, but countries could not agree on a phase-out of coal, oil, or gas.

Proposals to end coal in earlier G7 meetings also often resulted in pushback from coal-dependent economies like Japan and Germany which rely on it for one-third of their electricity needs.

Andrew Bowie, a UK minister at the department for energy security and net zero, told Class CNBC in Turin that this was a “historic agreement”.

“So, to have the G7 nations come around the table to send that signal to the world – that we, the advanced economies of the world – are committed to phasing out coal by the early 2030s is quite incredible.”

Climate groups welcomed the decision but they said it was “too little, too late”, calling for an overall phase-out of fossil fuels, which includes oil and gas.

“As the climate emergency demands they can’t just stop at coal: Fossil fuels are destroying people and planet and a commitment to rapidly phase out all fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – is urgently needed,” Tracy Carty, global climate politics expert at Greenpeace International, said.

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