The Group of Seven, a group of seven rich countries, has agreed to accelerate the end of burning fossil fuels without taking measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This was announced by the French Energy Minister, Agnes Panier-Ronacher, at a meeting of ministers in the Japanese city of Sapporo.
The agreements relate to phasing out, for example, coal-fired power plants that do not reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by capturing and storing greenhouse gases. The G7 could not agree on a timeframe for a complete ban on coal, a highly polluting fuel. But according to Pannier-Runacher, the group agrees not to add new coal-fired power plants. According to the French woman, the G7 is also calling for faster installation of solar panels, wind farms or other sources of renewable energy.
The group made up of the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Italy, Canada and France sees itself as a leader in the shift to cleaner energy sources. Thus, agreements between those countries may influence further international negotiations on combating climate change.
G7 members have also been criticized in the past for continuing to support fossil fuel projects without taking countermeasures to reduce emissions. For example, Japanese development banks have pledged hundreds of millions of euros for the construction of a gas-fired power plant in Uzbekistan. According to the environmental organization Oil Change International, not all public spending on fossil energy by Germany and Italy is in line with their environmental promises.
According to Japanese public broadcaster NHK, the G7 is also working on a plan to ensure that members can obtain enough raw materials important for the energy transition, such as lithium and nickel for batteries. For this they would like to release more than 6.7 billion euros.
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