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Wednesday, Feb 21, 2024

G7 vows more effort on renewables but sets no coal phaseout deadline

G7 vows more effort on renewables but sets no coal phaseout deadline

Group aims to boost its solar power capacity by 1 terawatt and offshore wind by 150 gigawatts by 2030.
The Group of Seven richest countries set higher 2030 targets for generating renewable energy, amid an energy crisis provoked by Russia's war on Ukraine, but they set no deadline to phase out coal-fired power plants.

At a meeting hosted by Japan, ministers from Japan, the U.S., Canada, Italy, France, Germany and the U.K. reaffirmed their commitment to reach zero carbon emissions by the middle of the century, and said they aimed to collectively increase solar power capacity by 1 terawatt and offshore wind by 150 gigawatts by the end of this decade.

"The G7 contributes to expanding renewable energy globally and bringing down costs by strengthening capacity including through a collective increase in offshore wind capacity ... and a collective increase of solar ...," the energy and environment ministers said in a 36-page communiqué issued after the two-day meeting.

"In the midst of an unprecedented energy crisis, it's important to come up with measures to tackle climate change and promote energy security at the same time," Japanese industry minister Yasutoshi Nishimura told a news conference, according to Reuters.

The ministers' statement also condemned Russia's "illegal, unjustifiable, and unprovoked" invasion of Ukraine and its "devastating" impact on the environment. The ministers vowed to support a green recovery and reconstruction in Ukraine.

They also published a five-point plan for securing access to critical raw materials that will be crucial for the green transition.

Before the meeting, Japan was facing criticism from green groups over its push to keep the door open to continued investments in natural gas, a fossil fuel. The final agreed text said such investments "can be appropriate" to deal with the crisis if they are consistent with climate objectives.

The ministers' meeting in the northern city of Sapporo comes just over a month before a G7 leaders' summit in Hiroshima.
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