On Saturday, June 12, U.S. President Joe Biden and other G7 leaders — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the U.K. — agreed to a set of concrete actions to accelerate the global transition away from coal generation as part of their efforts to combat climate change. G7 leaders will commit to an end to new direct government support for unabated international thermal coal power generation by the end of 2021. Unabated coal power generation means using coal without any technologies to substantially reduce CO2 emissions. To support developing countries in their transitions away from unabated coal, Canada, Germany, the U.K., and the United States will also include a commitment to provide up to $2 billion to support the work of the Climate Investment Funds. These funds are focused on accelerating the transition from coal for key developing countries while investing in technology, job training, and infrastructure.
“We also made a historic commitment to permanently eliminate the use of our public finance to support unabated coal projects around the world, and to end — and to end them by this year,” President Biden said. “The G7 agreed to that. And those who are not members but visiting members who are participating in the G7 who have coal-fired facilities, have also agreed that they would work in that direction as well.”
The group is also launching the G7 Industrial Decarbonization Agenda, a platform to accelerate innovation, deploy decarbonization technology, and harmonize standards. The leaders said they will also emphasize sectoral decarbonization in power, transport, agriculture and buildings.
All G7 leaders will align their long-term and short-term climate goals in a manner consistent with keeping the 1.5°C global warming threshold within reach, which they said “continued global investment in unabated coal power generation is incompatible with.”
Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “We’ve made it clear that new thermal coal mining doesn’t align with our path to a strong, resilient Canadian economy and clean air for generations to come. Of course, pollution knows no borders. So, Canada cannot fight alone against climate change.”
Prime Minister Trudeau said he was encouraged by the stance taken by the G7 leaders to cut emissions and end direct financing for coal power abroad. “Both of which Canada has already done,” he added.
The leaders also adopted the G7 Nature Compact, which aims to conserve or protect 30% of land and 30% of oceans by 2030.
Canada plans to double its climate finance commitment to $5.3 billion over the next five years, Trudeau said.