The Group of Seven, or G7, countries have agreed to stop financing international coal projects, a move that has been welcomed by activists.
What is Happening?
- On Friday May 21, the G7 countries agreed to align their policies to keep global temperature rise within 1.5°C by the end of the century. As such, international financing will be synced with the global goal of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions no later than 2050. They have also committed to “deep emission reductions in the 2020s.”
- This decision came after initial opposition from Japan, which was responsible for more than half of the USD$6.6 billion of coal support from G7 countries in 2019, according to Bloomberg NEF.
- The statement calls for an end to international support for “unabated” thermal coal generation this year- coal where emissions aren’t captured. It also promises to phase out government support for “carbon intensive international fossil fuel energy” in a way that aligns with the Paris goals. However, limited exceptions are to be allowed. It reiterates a pledge to stop “inefficient fossil fuel subsidies” by 2025.
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- The International Monetary Fund says that annual fossil fuels subsidies were valued at $5.2 trillion in 2017, the equivalent of 6.5% of the global economy. The IMF also found that more efficient fossil fuel pricing in 2015 would have cut carbon emissions by 28%.
- The nations met just days after the International Energy Agency said an immediate stop to any new oil, gas and coal field development was needed to reach the Paris goals. They also agreed to provide new financial support to help the energy transition in developing countries, and agreed to work towards halting and reversing biodiversity losses by 2030.
- While the meeting was generally applauded by activists, some noted the lack of more concrete steps on international climate financing to help poorer countries tackle climate change.
Featured image by: Flickr