Monday, June 5, 2023

G-7 pledges put coal on notice, could boost climate aid

BERLIN ( Associated Press) – Officials from the Group of Seven wealthy countries announced Friday that they will aim to largely eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from their power sectors by 2035, making it extremely unlikely that those countries will by that date. Will burn coal for electricity.

Ministers at the G-7 meeting in Berlin also announced the goal of a “highly carbon-free road sector by 2030”, meaning zero-emissions vehicles will dominate sales by the end of the decade.

In a move aimed at ending the recurring conflict between rich and poor countries during international climate negotiations, the G-7, for the first time, asked developing countries to provide additional financial support to deal with the losses and damages caused by global warming. The need was also recognized. ,

Climate campaigners have widely welcomed the agreements to be presented to leaders at the G-7 summit in Elmau, Germany, next month.

“The target of 2035 for decarbonization of the power sector is a real breakthrough. In practice this means countries need to phase out coal by 2030 at the latest,” said Luca Bergamaschi, director of the Rome-based campaign group ECCO.

Coal is a highly polluting fossil fuel responsible for a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions Caused by humans. While there are ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of coal, experts say reducing it to zero is nearly impossible, meaning it would have to be the first fossil fuel to be phased out.

G-7 members Britain, France and Italy have already set deadlines to stop burning coal for electricity in the next few years. Germany and Canada are targeting 2030; japan wants more time, While the Biden administration aims to end the use of fossil fuels for electricity generation in the United States by 2035.

A common goal would pressure other major polluters to follow suit and build on a settlement agreement Arrived at last year’s United Nations climate summit, where nations committed to “phasing out” coal rather than just “phasing out” it – without a specific date.

The issue is likely to be raised later this year at a meeting of the Group of 20 major and emerging economies, which account for 80% of global emissions.

Getting all G-20 countries to sign off on ambitious targets set by some of the most advanced economies will be crucial, such as countries like China.India And Indonesia is heavily dependent on coal.

Under pressure to increase their financial aid to poor countries, G-7 ministers in Berlin said they believed “action and support for vulnerable countries, populations and vulnerable groups should be further increased.”

This includes governments and companies “providing enhanced support with regard to reducing, mitigating and addressing the harm and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change,” he said.

Developing countries have demanded for years a clear commitment that they will receive funding to combat the loss and damage caused by climate change.

Rich countries have opposed the ideaHowever, for fear of being liable for costly disasters caused by global warming.

David Ryfish of Berlin-based environmental campaign group Germanwatch said, “After years of roadblocks, the G-7 finally recognizes that they need to financially support poor countries in addressing climate-related harm and loss. “

“But that recognition is not enough, they need to put real money on the table,” he said. “It is now up to (German Chancellor Olaf) Scholz to mobilize the significant financial commitments made by the leaders at the Elmau summit.”

Separately, the United States and Germany signed an agreement on Friday to deepen their bilateral cooperation on moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy in an effort to rein in climate change.

The deal will see the two countries working together to develop and deploy technologies that will accelerate the clean energy transition, particularly in the areas of offshore wind power, zero-emissions vehicles and hydrogen.

The US and Germany also pledged to cooperate to promote ambitious climate policies and energy security around the world.

US climate envoy John Kerry said the two countries aim to take advantage of the transition to clean energy as quickly as possible through the creation of new jobs and opportunities for businesses in the growing market for renewable energy.

For example, such markets rely on general standards for what can classify hydrogen as “green.” Officials will now work on reaching a common definition to ensure hydrogen produced on one side of the Atlantic can be sold on the other side.

Germany’s Energy and Climate Minister Robert Hebeck said the agreement reflects the urgency of tackling global warming. Scientists have said that drastic reductions in emissions around the world are needed this decade if the targets set out in the 2015 Paris climate agreement are to be met.

“Time is really running out,” Hebek said, calling climate change “the challenge of our political generation.”


Follow all Associated Press stories on climate change issues


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