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G7 To Consider Phasing Out Coal By 2030: Draft

The G7 group of the world’s leading industrial nations will discuss the idea of phasing out coal by 2030 and decarbonizing their power generation by 2035 when energy and environment ministers meet for a summit in Berlin from Wednesday to Friday, Reuters reports, citing a draft communique for the meeting.

The G7 group committed earlier this month to stop buying Russian oil following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, although they did not specify how and when the halt of oil purchases from Moscow would happen.

The most industrialized nations also have plans to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. And some—including the United States—have recently vowed to make their power grids carbon-free. The Biden Administration has committed to making America’s power-generating sector zero-carbon by 2035.

Now during the meeting this week, the ministers of climate and energy of the G7 members—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the U.S.—are expected to discuss and potentially agree on a coal phase-out by the end of this decade.

“We commit to phase out domestic unabated coal power generation and non-industrial coal-powered heat generation aiming at the year 2030,” according to a draft of their meeting communique seen by Reuters.

The UK, France, and Italy plan to phase out coal earlier than 2030, which is the target date for Germany and Canada. Japan and the U.S. haven’t pledged a coal phase-out date. Still, the Biden Administration’s target of a zero-carbon power grid by 2035 implies coal-fired generation in America would either have to close by that date or use carbon capture technology to offset emissions.

The ministers of G7 have yet to agree on a text to phase out coal. Negotiations could be complicated by concerns about energy security and reluctance to rely on foreign energy imports in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

At the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow last year, the world as a whole failed to agree on a commitment to phase out coal, and the final statement watered down the pledges to “phasing down” coal.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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