G7 ministers set big new targets for solar and wind capacity – Stock market news
SAPPORO, Japan (Reuters) – The Group of Seven wealthy nations on Sunday set major new targets for solar power and offshore wind capacity, agreeing to speed up the development of renewable energy and move towards a faster phase-out of fossil fuels.
But they stopped short of endorsing a 2030 deadline for phasing out coal that Canada and some other members had pushed for, leaving the door open for continued investment in gas, saying that sector could help to address potential energy shortages.
On Sunday the G7 ministers will finish two days of meetings on climate, energy and environmental policy in the city of Sapporo in northern Japan. Renewable fuel sources and energy security have taken on new urgency following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Initially people thought that climate action and energy security action were potentially in conflict. But discussions we had and which are reflected in the communique are that they actually work together,” Jonathan said. Wilkinson, Canada’s minister of natural resources.
In their communiqué, the members pledged to jointly increase offshore wind capacity by 150 gigawatts by 2030 and solar capacity to more than 1 terawatt.
“We will drastically increase the electricity generated from renewable energies,” they said.
They agreed to accelerate the “unabated fossil fuel phase-out” – the burning of fossil fuels without using technology to capture the resulting C02 emissions – to achieve net zero in energy systems. energy by 2050 at the latest.
On coal, the countries agreed to prioritize “concrete and timely steps” towards accelerating the phasing out of “domestic, unabated coal power generation”, as part of a commitment this year passed to achieve at least a “predominantly” decarbonised energy sector by 2035.
Canada has been clear that non-stop coal power should be phased out by 2030, and Ottawa, Britain and some other G7 members have committed to that date, Canada’s Wilkinson told Reuters .
“Others are still trying to figure out how they can get there in their relevant time frame – it’s been a good conversation and everyone is committed to doing it and we’re trying to find ways for some that are more reliant on coal than others to find technical pathways how do you do it,” he said.
“The solar and wind commitments are huge statements about the importance of relying on solar and wind energy superpowers to phase out fossil fuels,” said Dave Jones, who is the head of data insights at energy think tank Ember.
“Hopefully this will provide a challenge to Japan, for whom offshore wind is the missing piece of the jigsaw that could see its energy sector decarbonise much faster than thought possible.”
Host country Japan, which depends on imports for almost all of its energy needs, wants to keep liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a transition fuel for at least 10 to 15 years.
G7 members said that investment in the gas sector “could be appropriate” to address potential market failures provoked by the crisis in Ukraine, if implemented in a manner consistent with the objectives of the climate.
They are aiming to reduce additional plastic pollution to zero by 2040, bringing the target forward by ten years.
(Reporting by Katya Golubkova and Yuka Obayashi Additional reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore, Tom Hogue and William Mallard)
By Katya Golubkova and Yuka Obayashi