US, Germany to boost cooperation on shift to clean energy
BERLIN Officials from the Group of Seven rich nations announced Friday that they intend to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their power sector by 2035, making coal-fired electricity unlikely after that date.
Ministers of the G-7 countries met in Berlin to announce a goal to have a “highly carbonized road sector by 2030,”, meaning that zero emission vehicles will dominate the sales by end of decade. In a move to end the recurring conflict between rich countries and poor nations at international climate talks, G-7 also announced a goal to have a “highly decarbonized road sector by 2030,” which would mean that zero emission vehicles would dominate the sales by the end of the decade.
Climate campaigners were pleased with the agreements that will be presented to leaders at next month’s G-7 summit in Elmau. Germany.
” The 2035 target to decarbonize the power sector is a significant breakthrough. This means that countries must phase out coal by 2030 by the latest,” stated Luca Bergamaschi (director of the Rome-based campaign group ECCO).
Coal, a polluting fossil fuel, is responsible for a fifth global greenhouse gas emissions. Experts say there are ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal burning, but it is nearly impossible to eliminate it completely. This means that it will be the first fossil fuel to be phased off.
G-7 member countries France, Italy, and Britain have set deadlines for reducing the use of coal to generate electricity within the next few years. Canada and Germany are working towards 2030; Japan is asking for more time, while the Biden administration has set a goal to eliminate fossil fuel use in electricity generation in the United States by 2035..
A common goal would pressure other major polluters and build on the U.N. climate summit agreement, where countries committed to “phase down” coal rather than “phase it out” — with no set date.
The issue will likely be discussed at a meeting of Group of 20 emerging and leading economies, which are responsible for 80% of worldwide emissions.
It will be crucial for all G -20 nations to sign up to the ambitious targets set out by some of the world’s most advanced economies. Countries like India, China, and Indonesia are heavily dependent on coal.
The G-7 ministers in Berlin acknowledged that they need to increase their financial aid for poor countries. .”
This includes companies and governments “providing enhanced assistance regarding averting and minimising loss and damage associated to the adverse effects of climate change.”
Developing countries have demanded for years a clear commitment to receive funds to deal with the damage and loss caused by climate change.
Wealthy countries have resisted the idea out of fear of being held responsible for costly disasters that global warming may cause.
“After years and years of delays, the G-7 finally recognized the need to financially support poor countries in addressing climate related losses and damages,” said David Ryfisch, a Berlin-based environmental campaign group Germanwatch.
“But, that recognition isn’t enough. They need to actually put money on the table,” Ryfisch said. “It is now up to (German Chancellor Olaf) Scholz to mobilise significant financial commitments by leaders at the Elmau summit.”
Separately, the United States and Germany signed an agreement Friday to deepen their bilateral cooperation on shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy in an effort to rein in climate change. The deal will see the two nations work together to develop and implement technologies that will accelerate the clean energy transition, especially in the areas of offshore wind power and zero-emissions cars and hydrogen.
The U.S. and Germany pledged to also collaborate on promoting ambitious climate policies and energy security worldwide.
U.S. John Kerry, climate envoy, stated that both countries want to reap the benefits from shifting to clean energy as soon as possible through the creation and expansion of jobs and business opportunities in the growing market of renewables.
Such markets are dependent on common standards for what hydrogen can be called “green.” Officials are now working to reach a common definition so that hydrogen produced on either side of the Atlantic can also be sold on the other. Robert Habeck, Germany’s energy- and climate minister, stated that the agreement reflected the urgency to address global warming. Scientists believe that drastic emissions cuts must be made in order to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
“Time is literally running out,” Habeck said, calling climate change “the challenge of our political generation.”
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