G7 Countries Agree to Phase Out Coal Power By 2035

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  • G7 nations have reached a deal to phase out coal power by 2035.

The Group of Seven (G7) countries have struck a deal to end coal power generation no later than 2035, helping to mitigate climate change.

U.K. energy minister Andrew Bowie said in a CNBC interview there had been a “historic” agreement to phase out coal power in the first half of the 2030s, noting that nations hadn’t managed to achieve at the COP28 conference in Dubai last year.

More details should come alongside a final release on April 30th. Reuters sources said discussions for the deal ran until late on April 28th.

The pact commits Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S. to completely transitioning over to energy sources with reduced CO2 emissions, including renewables like solar and wind. Fossil fuels have played a major role in human-made global warming, and coal power has been the main offender.

The pledge will require more work for some countries. The U.S. is roughly in line with the G7 average of 16% of power coming from coal plants. Most, however, are already close to phasing out coal entirely, including France (0.4%), the U.K. (1.4%), Canada (5%), and Italy (5.3%). Their energy tends to come from a mix of natural gas, nuclear and renewable channels.

The arrangement mostly impacts Germany and Japan, which are still highly dependent on coal at 27% and 32% respectively.

The coal power deal won’t address all issues. Natural gas is frequently the dominant source of power, representing 43.1% of U.S. energy generation in 2023. It still contributes to emissions and isn’t expected to disappear. It’s not always easy to scale renewables to cope with added demand. A G7 move is also unlikely to persuade China, India, and other coal-dependent countries to switch.

Nonetheless, the coal power phase-out is significant. Combined with electric cars and other strategies, the plan should curb at least some emissions. It might also put more pressure on those countries that are still using coal.