G7 nations’ ministers agree to phase out coal use by 2035


Environment Ministers from the G7 nations have committed themselves to phase out the use of coal by 2035 as part of a wider effort to reduce and eventually eliminate the use of fossil fuels. 

Climate, Energy, and Environment Ministers gathered earlier this month in Reggia di Venaria, just outside the northern Italian city of Turin, for the latest working session for the G7, which is headed by Italy this year. 

The ministers agreed to a host of energy and climate-related goals, including encouraging the development of renewable energy sources, increased collaboration on energy from nuclear fusion, and a reduction in emissions of methane and other greenhouse gases. 

The participants of the two-day summit focused on measures to eliminate the use of coal and later phase out all fossil fuels. These measures are part of the nations’ commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. 

Though the agreement says countries would eliminate coal use by the “first half of the 2030s” — in other words by 2035 — it did allow for that deadline to be changed if it remained on “a timeline consistent with keeping a limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius temperature rise within reach”. 

That caveat is aimed at giving more flexibility to countries highly reliant on coal power, such as G7 member states Germany and Japan. 

The 1.5-degree target compared to pre-industrial levels, which the United Nations target has imposed to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change, was again reiterated last year at the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP-28) in Dubai held in December last year. 

The G7’s Climate, Energy, and Environment talks are part of a long series of events organised by the current Italian presidency of the G7. 

The centerpiece of the summit will take place for heads of state and ministers in the southern Italian region of Apulia on June 13-15 this year.