G7 countries set targets for solar and wind capacities

Governments of G7 nations have pledged to collectively increase offshore wind capacity by 150GW and solar to more than 1TW by 2030.

Negotiations took place in Japan’s northern city of Sapporo, where the countries committed to increase the pace and scale of deploying renewables, expand solar and offshore capacities as well as cut demand for gas.

Fossil Fuels phase out to be accelerated

They also agreed “to accelerate the phase-out of unabated fossil fuels so as to achieve net-zero in energy systems by 2050”, reports the Financial Times. The targets for energy security come with a renewed sense of urgency following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In initial drafts, Japan opposed to the inclusion of word ‘phase-out’, but Germany, France and the UK successfully negotiated the term’s inclusion. France’s energy transition minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said the word ‘phase-out’ was a “strong step forward” ahead of G20 and COP summits, reports Agence France-Press.

Phase-out of coal objected

While the G7 committed to decarbonising the power sector by 2035, the proposal to phase-out coal made by Canada and the UK was met by objections from the EU, Japan, and the US.

The countries stated that there is an urgent need to cut greenhouse emissions by around 60% by 2035, in alignment with the goals set by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. There is consensus among the G7 countries on de-prioritisation of gas, coal and fossil fuels in a bid to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.

Japan is, however, overwhelmingly dependent on fossil fuel imports from the Middle East. With 90% of its energy needs being met by crude oil, it wants to keep LNG as its transition fuel for the next decade. Japan’s trade and economy minister said G7 countries must help developing countries cut their emissions. The UK is already bidding for a role in developing Japan’s offshore wind sector, says Reuters.

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