G7 Nations Agree To End Support For Coal

Jun 29, 2021by Olivia - F&F

Following the G7 summit in Cornwall, UK — the world’s biggest democracies have agreed to end government support for coal-fired power by the end of this year! 

The nations that make up the Group of Seven (G7) — the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan — have formally recognised the need to phase out coal in order to limit global temperature rise to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

G7 Leaders In CornwallG7 Leaders In Cornwall

The 2021 G7 Summit

The G7 summit — held in Cornwall, UK on the 11th-13th June — involved important discussions surrounding coal-fired power and its role in our climate crisis. All G7 nations have formally agreed to pursue net-zero emissions by 2050, but now, each nation has agreed to accelerate the transition away from coal-fired power! 

"Coal power generation is the single biggest cause of greenhouse gas emissions. Continued global investment in unabated coal power generation is incompatible with keeping 1.5°C within reach," the G7 nations said in the official summit communique. “We stress that international investments in unabated coal must stop now, and we commit now to an end to new direct government support for unabated international thermal coal power generation by the end of 2021.” This is necessary for achieving global net-zero emissions by 2050!

G7 Leaders Cornwall 2021G7 Leaders Cornwall 2021

What Else Did The G7 Leaders Commit To?

Aside from pledging to end all government support for coal power, the G7 has agreed to accelerate progress on a number of other methods to achieve a “decarbonised economy”. 

"We will focus on accelerating progress on electrification and batteries, hydrogen, carbon capture, usage and storage, zero-emission aviation and shipping, and for those countries that opt to use it, nuclear power," as well as zero-emissions vehicle technologies, the communique document said.

The G7 has also pledged $100 billion to developing nations through to 2025 to help in the transition from coal-fired power to renewable energy. "G7 countries account for 20% of global carbon emissions, and we were clear this weekend that action has to start with us," UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said at the conclusion of the conference.

David AttenboroughDavid Attenborough

Here’s What Sir David Attenborough Had To Say! 

The world’s favourite naturalist had some stern words for the G7 leaders; reminding them that the decisions made this decade — particularly by the most economically advanced nations — are “the most important in human history". "The question science forces us to address, specifically in 2021, is whether as a result of these intertwined facts we are on the verge of destabilising the entire planet?" Attenborough said.

Attenborough, speaking in a video message to the world leaders, emphasised that tackling climate change is as much of a political and communications challenge as it is a scientific and technological one. 

“We have the skills to address it in time. All we need is the global will to do so,” Attenborough concluded.

Scott MorrisonScott Morrison

Where Does This Leave Australia?

Australia, along with India and South Korea, were invited to the 2021 G7 summit in efforts to build the ‘D10’ (group of ten democracies)— along with the European Union

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Australia is the only country in the ‘D10’ without a target of net-zero emissions by 2050! In fact, Australia and Singapore are the only countries in the world without a firm net-zero target. Roughly 137 countries have pledged to become carbon neutral.

For a wealthy, progressive nation with plenty of potential to become a renewable energy superpower — it’s baffling as to why Australia hasn’t committed to a net-zero target yet! We cannot continue to fund coal, oil and gas projects while the rest of the world is working hard to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

It’s clear that if we want to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change, limit global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, and achieve net-zero global emissions by 2050 — we need to stop burning coal. The G7’s recognition of this need is a necessary step in the right direction!

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