G7 Nations agree to end support for coal-fired Power Stations this year

Soon, the iconic images of dark gases rising from coal based power stations will be a thing of the past in the G7 nations. This is because ministers from these G7 countries have committed to ending support this year for power stations that use coal to produce electricity. The countries are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The agreement comes three weeks before a summit of the body scheduled in England. It is part of a pledge to accelerate efforts to combat CO2 emissions.

The group of nations is working with scientist input that says 1.5°C is the point that climate change will become uncontrollable and unbearable. The move to rapidly phase out coal stations is aimed at limiting the rise in temperature.

The United Nations has said there has to be a drop of 8% in emissions per year for the global rise in temperature to be kept under 1.5°C.

The G7 countries are also agreeing to significantly step up their efforts to reduce reliance on hydrocarbons for mass transportation through the next ten years. They will lead by example by protecting the planet’s diversity by preserving 30% of the landmass and 30% of the ocean.

The group said in a statement “Recognizing that continued global investment in coal-fired power generation is incompatible with the 1.5°C objective, we insist that international investment in unmined coal must stop now.”

Svenja Schulze, Germany’s Environment Minister, said it was “an important step forward, because only in this way can we, as industrialized countries, credibly demand that others follow us in this direction”.

French Ecological Transition Minister Barbara Pompili commented ” I am delighted that an agreement could be found regarding a key aspect of our G7 communique: the absolute end of new direct government support for international coal power generation. It gives a very strong signal to the world that coal is an energy of the past and has no place in our future energy mix. It sets the stage for a radical transition towards clean energy.

“That was a difficult decision for Japan in particular, and I am very pleased that Japan was able to take this decisive step.”

Japan had hesitated to sign the agreement until the final hours of the 2 day virtual meeting. The Asian country had doubts as to the compliance of China which Japan feared would step in when Japan stops supporting coal stations for developing countries. But Japan eventually came around and joined the agreement.