G7 nations announce plan to end coal use by 2035

The G7 countries goal is to “phase out existing unabated coal power generation in our energy systems during the first half of 2030s.”

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The World Resources Institute announced that the Group of Seven largest economies in the world agreed to permanently shutdown coal-fired power plants by 2030 through 2035 or within a timeline that aligns with the global heating limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Germany, France, Canada, Japan, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States said they will “scale up” battery storage by 2030 to help support renewable energy sources powered by electricity grids.

The G7 countries goal is to “phase out existing unabated coal power generation in our energy systems during the first half of 2030s,” the communiqué reported.

“As some of the largest emitters—and with the greatest concentrations of wealth—the G7 countries have a unique ability to steer the world’s course toward a clean energy future,” Jennifer Layke, global energy director of World Resources Institute (WRI), said. “This commitment says to the rest of the planet that this transition is possible—and international cooperation is critical to getting us there. It marks a profound shift in thinking from last year’s G7 meetings when countries failed to reach an agreement to move away from fossil fuels.”

Currently, coal makes up 32 percent of the energy mix in Japan, 27 percent in Germany and 16 percent in the U.S., according to Ember, a UK thinktank. Coal is used less than six percent for electrictiy in Italy, Canada and the UK combined, while in France, coal use is almost obsolete.

“Many of these countries have already publicly committed to phase out dates ahead of 2030, and only have a small amount of coal capacity anyway,” Jane Ellis, climate policy leader at Germany’s Climate Analytics, said.

Energy ministers from G7 countries said $600 billion in investments will be needed by 2030 for electricity distribution and transmission as renewable energy development ramps up, Reuters reported.

“Stamping an end date on the coal era is precisely the kind of leadership we need from the world’s wealthiest countries,” Layke said. “This decision provides a beacon of hope for the rest of the world, showing the transition away from coal can happen much faster than many thought possible.”

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