G7 countries reach ‘historical’ agreement to abandon coal by 2035

Energy ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) major democracies agreed on Tuesday to end the use of coal in power generation during the first half of the next decade. Still, they gave leeway to Germany and Japan, whose economies depend on the fuel.

Germany has written into its legislation a final target to shut coal plants by 2038, while the current government has expressed the will to phase out coal by 2030, and Japan has not set a date.

‘Historic’ agreement

The agreement is a further step in the direction indicated last year by the COP28 United Nations Climate Summit to reduce the use of fossil fuels, of which coal is the most polluting.

The British Energy Minister, Andrew Bowie, confirmed the news to American media in Turin, where the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Italy, and France met for two days. Bowie called the agreement “historic”.

France least dependent on coal

The meeting of the G7 is the first major political session since the world promised during the COP28 climate conference in December to eventually move away from coal, oil, and gas. Belgium has no longer used coal since the closure of the Langerlo power station in 2016. The summit also drew hundreds of protesters to Turin, who accuse G7 leaders of abandoning future generations.

There are large differences in dependence on coal among the G7 countries. France is the least dependent on coal, which mainly uses nuclear energy to generate electricity, and will only get a fraction of one percent from coal in 2023. The G7 is also expected to commit to reducing plastic production to tackle global pollution.

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