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G7 ministers pledge to phase out coal — but no timeline set – National

Environment and energy ministers from G7 nations ended two days of talks in northern Japan on Sunday without acting on Canada’s pressure to set a timeline for phasing out coal-fired power plants.

In a 36-page communiqué following their meeting in Sapporo, Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at the latest, and agreed to work with other countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. pledged to end new coal-fired power projects that do not. Take action to mitigate emissions.

“We will call on and work with other countries to end as soon as possible new undiminished coal power projects around the world in order to accelerate the transition to clean energy in an equitable manner.” The document states:

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Canada’s Environment Minister Stephen Guilbeau told Japan’s public broadcaster last week that he hoped to see “strong language” in the final statement on the coal phase-out.

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Instead, leaders reaffirmed the need to achieve a “predominantly decarbonized electricity sector” by 2035.

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

“For Canada, phasing out coal power by 2030 has never been more urgent,” the statement said.

“The science is clear: Countries, especially the G7, need to do more and on a faster timeline to address climate change and continue to meet the Paris Agreement temperature targets.”

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In the 2015 Paris Agreement, 196 countries, including Canada, set national targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to prevent global warming from averaging more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. agreed to set

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Guilbeau advocated a consensus to phase out coal by 2030, as promised by Canada, but G7 environment ministers said countries like Japan will continue to rely on coal-powered electricity. I’m having a hard time finding common ground on this issue.

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Japan has instead advocated its own natural strategy, which involves the use of what it calls “clean coal” where emissions are captured.

A report released earlier this month by the Global Energy Monitor, a group that tracks the world’s energy projects, found that G7 countries account for 15% of the world’s working coal capacity.

The report said that while the world’s capacity to burn coal for electricity increased last year, it was largely due to the opening of so many new power plants in China that the rest of the world would have to replace them. Efforts to close it have been offset, the report said.

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The Sapporo meeting also pledged to cooperate on wise and equitable environmental energy, water, agriculture and ocean policies.

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Japan’s Environment Minister Akihiro Nishimura said after the talks, “I think we were able to demonstrate to the international community that our commitment to climate change and environmental issues is unwavering, even under the circumstances in Ukraine.”

The ministers also pledged to end plastic pollution, aiming to eliminate new plastic pollution by 2040, as part of their priorities ahead of the G7 summit in Hiroshima in May.

Using file from Associated Press

© 2023 The Canadian Press

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