G7 Nations Set Deadline to Shut Down Coal-Fired Power Plants

Energy ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) major democracies have reached a pivotal agreement to shutter their coal-fired power plants by the first half of the 2030s.

In a landmark decision poised to redefine global energy strategies, energy ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) major democracies have reached a pivotal agreement to shutter their coal-fired power plants by the first half of the 2030s. This monumental step signifies an unwavering commitment towards steering away from fossil fuels and embracing cleaner, renewable energy alternatives.

Italian Energy Minister Gilberto Pichetto Fratin, who chairs the G7 ministerial meeting in Turin, confirmed the breakthrough: “There is a technical agreement; we will seal the final political deal on Tuesday.” The impending closure of coal-fired power plants underscores the G7’s collective determination to combat climate change and transition towards sustainable energy sources.

On Tuesday, the ministers are slated to release a comprehensive communique delineating the G7’s steadfast commitments to decarbonize their economies. Pichetto revealed that deliberations are underway regarding potential constraints on Russian liquefied natural gas imports to Europe, a matter slated for discussion within the G7’s technical and political agenda.

The accord on coal represents a momentous stride aligned with the trajectory set forth during last year’s COP28 United Nations climate summit, emphasizing the imperative to phase out fossil fuels, with coal being the foremost pollutant. Italy, for instance, derived 4.7% of its total electricity from coal-fired stations last year. Rome has outlined plans to deactivate its plants by 2025, except for those in Sardinia, earmarked for closure by 2028.

Conversely, Germany and Japan grapple with more substantial coal dependency, with coal contributing over 25% of total electricity generation last year. While the G7 under Japan’s presidency in the previous year vowed to prioritize tangible steps towards phasing out coal power generation, it stopped short of specifying a definitive deadline.

Nuclear energy and biofuels emerge as focal points on Italy’s agenda for the ministerial meeting, with Pichetto affirming their inclusion in the final communique as viable options for G7 nations to decarbonize power generation and transportation.

Furthermore, discussions on Tuesday may broach the imperative for a six-fold augmentation in battery capacity by 2030, critical for storing intermittent renewable energy. This ambitious target reflects a collective endeavor to fortify infrastructure crucial for harnessing renewable energy sources effectively.

The G7’s united front in curbing coal usage underscores a pivotal paradigm shift towards sustainable energy practices. This historic accord not only signifies a crucial step towards fulfilling climate pledges but also sets a precedent for concerted global action in combating climate change. As the world grapples with mounting environmental challenges, the G7’s resolute stance augurs a promising trajectory towards a greener, more sustainable future.