Breaking: US, other G7 countries to phase out coal by early 2030s

In a historic agreement, the G7 just agreed to phase out coal in the first half of the 2030s, according to statements made today.

The G7 – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US, plus the EU – are meeting in Turin, Italy. It’s the first large political since COP28 in December when the world pledged to transition away from fossil fuels.

Andrew Bowie, the UK’s minister in Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, confirmed the news to Class CNBC:

G7 countries generated 16% of their electricity from coal in 2023, down from 29% in 2015, according to data from energy thinktank Ember.

Japan has the highest share at 32% in 2023, followed by Germany at 27%. The US is in line with the G7 average (16%), while the other G7 members have mostly already phased out coal: France (0.4%), the UK (1.4%), Canada (5%), and Italy (5.3%).

“This is another nail in the coffin for coal,” said Dave Jones, Ember’s Global Insights program director. “The journey to phase out coal power has been long: it’s been over seven years since the UK, France, Italy, and Canada committed to phase out coal power, so it’s good to see the United States and especially Japan at last be more explicit on their intentions.

“The problem is that whilst coal power has already been falling, gas power has not. G7 nations already promised to ‘fully or predominantly’ decarbonize their power sectors by 2035, and that would mean phasing out not only coal by 2035 but also gas. Coal might be the dirtiest, but all fossil fuels need to be ultimately phased out.”

G7 countries generated 34% of their electricity from gas in 2023, up from 29% in 2015. 

Read more: In a first, the world agrees to the ‘beginning of the end’ of the fossil fuel era

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