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G7 vows to zero carbon

  • Published
    17th Apr, 2023

Energy and environment ministers of the Group of Seven wealthy nations vowed to work to hasten the shift toward cleaner, renewable energy. Still, they set no timetable for phasing out coal-fired power plants.

Key excerpts 

  • The Group of Seven industrialised nations, including Germany, Italy, Canada and the EU, all target net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner after signing the Paris Agreement to cap warming at well under 2 degrees Celsius, and ideally 1.5C.
  • Reducing carbon emission: The leaders reiterated the need to urgently reduce carbon emissions and achieve a “predominantly decarbonized power sector” by 2035.
  • Phasing out fossil fuel: The group is committed to accelerating the phase-out of unabated fossil fuels to achieve net zero in energy systems by 2050 at the latest.
    • But they offered no new deadlines beyond last year's G7 pledge.
  • Hydrogen and Ammonia: The group recognised that low-carbon and renewable hydrogen and its derivatives such as ammonia should be developed and used where they are impactful as effective emission reduction tools to advance decarbonisation.
  • Critical mineral: The group is committed to maintaining products containing critical minerals and raw materials in the economy as long as possible
  • Plastic pollution: The group is committed to ending plastic pollution, with the ambition to reduce additional plastic pollution to zero by 2040.

What Does Carbon Free Mean?

  • In contrast to being carbon-neutral, becoming carbon-free means directly reducing emissions to zero.
  • For Critical minerals: for example, if a country or company is carbon-free, all the energy and electricity comes from renewable sources, like wind or solar.

What is this move significant?

  • The G-7 nations account for 40% of the world’s economic activity and a quarter of global carbon emissions. Their actions are critical.

About G7

  • The Group of Seven (G7) is an inter-governmental political grouping consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US. 
  • Russia joined in 1998, creating the G8, but was excluded in 2014 for its takeover of Crimea.
  • The EU is not a member of the G7 but attends the annual summit.


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