The climate unity of the rich democracies has been shaken by their inability to commit to ending the use of coal
In the first report to the G7, the leaders outlined common goals that they believe will ensure a safe climate: limit warming to 1.5 degrees and achieve net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, Politico reported.
The 25-page final statement commits to “fully decarbonise the energy system in the 2030s” and “accelerate the transition away from uninterrupted coal capacity” – that is, coal without carbon-capture technology.
“No specific date can be given, it is not our fault”, – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in response to a question from POLITICO. Of the G7 countries that have set a phase-out date for coal, Germany is the latest in 2038. “We are setting a good example”, – Merkel said. – “Others have not yet confirmed their plans.”
Reaching these targets means that global coal use must be reduced by more than half this decade, the International Energy Agency, the global energy modelling body, said recently . But coal use is still rising in many developing countries; the US, for example, has no intention of abandoning its use of coal, carefully crafting its answers so as not to appear wrong in the eyes of its allies, but also not to confirm any information that disadvantages them.
Several days of talks at the G7 leaders’ summit in Cornwall failed to set an end date for coal deliveries after the US and Japan obstructed a deal.
US resistance to setting a deadline on coal underscores the political dangers for leaders with significant coal industries.
By and large, the conclusion reached by “the world’s leading nations” is to create a plan to create a plan, says Politico.
“In the face of a perfect storm of planetary crises – climate, COVID, injustice and ecosystem collapse – the world’s richest democracies responded with a plan to create a plan”, – said Laurence Tubiana, former French diplomat and a key drafter of the Paris climate agreement and now director general of the European Climate Fund.
The German representative added that the success of the COP26 negotiations “depends crucially on the commitment of industrialised countries to climate finance. The G7 must lead this effort.”
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“There is still a lot of money to be made for this”, – Johnson said.