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G7 Nations Set Ambitious Solar and Wind Energy Targets

The Group of Seven (G7) countries agreed on Sunday to establish new collective targets for solar power and offshore wind capacity, intending to accelerate renewable energy development and hasten the phase-out of fossil fuels.

Flags of G7 countries
Flags of G7 countries

Coal Phase-Out Deadline Dispute

Although the G7 nations did not support Canada's proposed 2030 deadline for phasing out coal, they did leave room for ongoing investment in gas, which could help address potential energy shortages.

Balancing Climate Change and Energy Security

Japanese industry minister Yasutoshi Nishimura emphasized the importance of addressing climate change while ensuring energy security during the current energy crisis.

United Towards 2050 Carbon Neutrality Goal

Despite differing approaches, G7 ministers agreed on the importance of aiming for a common goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.

Climate and Energy Security Cooperation

Canadian Minister of Natural Resources, Jonathan Wilkinson, highlighted that climate action and energy security could complement each other, as demonstrated by discussions during the G7 meeting.

Offshore Wind and Solar Targets

G7 members pledged to increase offshore wind capacity by 150 gigawatts and solar capacity to over one terawatt by 2030.

Accelerating Fossil Fuel Phase-Out

The countries agreed to expedite the phase-out of unabated fossil fuels to achieve net-zero energy systems by 2050.

Coal Phase-Out Steps and Commitments

G7 nations will prioritize accelerating the phase-out of domestic, unabated coal power generation as part of a commitment to decarbonize the power sector by 2035.

Coal-Dependent Countries Seeking Solutions

Some G7 members are still exploring ways to phase out coal by the proposed 2030 deadline, with technical pathways being considered for more coal-dependent countries.

Emphasizing Solar and Wind Power

Energy think tank Ember's Dave Jones stressed the significance of G7's solar and wind commitments in phasing out fossil fuels.

Japan's Offshore Wind Opportunity

Japan, heavily reliant on imports for energy needs, could see its power sector decarbonize more quickly by adopting offshore wind.

Gas Investments and Climate Objectives

G7 members acknowledged that investments in the gas sector could be appropriate for addressing market shortfalls caused by the Ukraine crisis as long as they align with climate goals.

Advanced Plastic Pollution Reduction Target

The G7 countries set a goal of reducing additional plastic pollution to zero by 2040, moving the target forward by ten years.