G7 ministers end meeting without date to phase out coal


Environment and energy ministers from the G7 countries ended two days of negotiations in northern Japan on Sunday without acting on Canada’s attempt to set a timeline for phasing out the greenhouses. coal-fired power plant.

In a 36-page communique after the meeting in Sapporo, the ministers reiterated their commitment to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and promised to work with other countries to end projects. New coal-fired power plants do not emit greenhouse gases. take steps to reduce emissions.

Canada’s Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault told Japanese public broadcaster last week that he hoped to see “strong language” in the final statement on phasing out coal.

Instead, the leaders reaffirmed that they need to achieve a largely decarbonized electricity sector by 2035, opening the door to fossil fuels.

In a statement posted to Twitter on Sunday, Guilbeault said he still welcomed the joint commitment among the G7 countries to accelerate coal phase-out, but also called for greater urgency.

“For Canada, it has never been so urgent to phase out coal-fired power generation by 2030,” the statement read.

“The science has clearly shown that countries, especially the G7, must do more and faster to tackle climate change and keep the Paris Agreement temperature target within reach.”

In the 2015 Paris accord, 196 countries, including Canada, agreed to set national targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions in order to prevent the planet from warming on average more than 2 degrees Celsius above normal. pre-industrial period.

Guilbeault has backed a consensus on phasing out coal by 2030, as Canada has promised to do, but G7 environment ministers have struggled to find common ground on the issue as countries like Japan continues to rely on coal-fired electricity.

Instead, Japan favors its own natural strategy that includes the use of what it calls “clean coal”, where emissions are captured.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on April 16, 2023.

— With files from The Associated Press

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