G7 leaders strengthen their commitment to unabated coal power phase out, building momentum for action at G20 and COP28 to accelerate the coal to clean transition.
Leaders of the G7, meeting in Hiroshima, Japan on Saturday, 20th May, strengthened their commitment to accelerate the phase-out of domestic unabated coal power, by clarifying that it needs to be aligned with a 1.5-degree timeline, reaffirming this agreement between G7 ministers in Sapporo in April. For the first time, they also pledged to work towards ending the construction of new unabated coal fired power generation projects domestically. They also agreed to engage with other countries to do so globally as soon as possible to accelerate the clean energy transition in a just manner.
Moreover, leaders called on other countries, especially major economies, to fulfil their commitments to end new direct government support for unabated coal-fired power stations abroad. They also recognised the work of the PPCA in supporting clean energy transition in countries around the world.
The rapid phase out of emissions from coal power, which is the single largest cause of global temperature increase, is the first and most critical step towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. The Powering Past Coal Alliance Declaration commits OECD member countries to phase out coal by 2030 and non-OECD member countries to phase out by 2040. These dates are in line with a 1.5-degree timeline, as suggested by authoritative sources, including the International Energy Agency Net Zero by 2050 Roadmap.
In reaction to the outcomes of the G7 leaders summit, the UK’s Minister for Minister for Energy Security and Net Zero and PPCA co-chair, Graham Stuart, said:
“In the UK coal is a fuel of the past. Just a decade ago it provided nearly 40% of our electricity. Next year it will be zero. Now the whole G7 has made an historic commitment meaning they will go further and faster to eliminate coal from their power systems and support others to do the same.
This sends a clear signal ahead of talks at the G20 and COP28 that it is over for coal, with an end to new plants and an aggressive phasing out of existing ones. The removal of unabated coal is an essential part of meeting 2050 net zero targets, and a driver of building home grown, clean, cheap renewable energy sources in the UK and around the world.”
Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change and PPCA co-chair, Steven Guilbeault, said:
“The rapid phase-out of emissions from coal power globally is one of the first and most critical steps to keep the 1.5-degree goal within reach. The G7 pledge to phase-out unabated coal power will build momentum to accelerate clean energy across the world and needs to be reflected in the upcoming G20 and COP28 discussions. The shift from coal- will strengthen energy security and ensure long-term prosperity and stability. Canada is proud to co-lead the Powering Past Coal Alliance with the United Kingdom and stands ready to help countries along their coal phase-out journeys.”