The Group of Seven (G7) industrialised nations has pledged to quit fossil fuels faster and urged other countries to follow suit, but have not set any new deadlines on quitting the use of polluting fuels like coal.
After two days of talks in the northern city of Sapporo in Japan on April 16, the bloc’s climate and environment ministers vowed to accelerate the phase-out of unabated fossil fuels so as to achieve net zero in energy systems by 2050 at the latest. However, they failed to offer any new deadline beyond last year’s G7 pledge to largely end fossil fuel use in their electricity sectors by 2035.
“The most important progress we have made is clearly the fact that we agree to move away from non-carbon-offset fossil fuels,” said Agnes Pannier-Runacher, Energy Transition Minister, France.
The UK and France had put forward a new goal of ending “unabated” coal power – which does not take steps to offset emissions – in G7 electricity systems this decade. However, with global energy supplies still disturbed by the Ukraine war, the target faced a setback from other members such as Japan and the United States.
The G7, which also includes Germany, Italy, Canada and the EU, targets net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner after signing the Paris Agreement to restrict global warming at well under 2 degrees Celsius, and ideally 1.5 degrees Celsius.