G7 vows to step up shift towards renewable energy, zero carbon


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 officials issued a 36-page communique laying out their commitments ahead of a G-7 summit in Hiroshima in May.Japan won endorsements from fellow G-7 countries for its own national strategy emphasising so-called clean coal, hydrogen and nuclear energy to help ensure its energy security.
“Recognising 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. The leaders reiterated the need to urgently reduce carbon emissions and achieve a “predominantly decarbonized power sector” by 2035. “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.The stipulation that countries rely on “predominantly” clean energy by 2035 leaves room for continuation of fossil-fuel fired power. But the ministers agreed to prioritise 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.