The world's major nations agreed on Friday to end financial support for overseas coal projects by the end of 2021 to meet climate change targets.
G7 ministers responsible for Climate and Environment from the UK, the US, Japan, Canada, Germany, France and Italy, which met virtually on Thursday and Friday, reaffirmed their commitment to limiting global heating to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
"Recognising that coal power generation is the single biggest cause of global temperature increases, we commit now to rapidly scale-up technologies and policies that further accelerate the transition away from unabated coal capacity and to an overwhelmingly decarbonised power system in the 2030s, consistent with our 2030 NDCs [Nationally Determined Contributions] and net zero commitments," the ministers of seven nations said in a communique published on Friday.
The group committed "to promoting the increased international flow of public and private capital toward Paris Agreement-aligned investments and away from high-carbon power generation to support the clean energy transition in developing countries."
"In this context, we will phase out new direct government support for carbon intensive international fossil fuel energy, except in limited circumstances at the discretion of each country, in a manner that is consistent with an ambitious, clearly defined pathway towards climate neutrality in order to keep 1.5˚C within reach, in line with the long-term objectives of the Paris Agreement and best available science," the club of rich countries said.
The group emphasized that continued global investment in unabated coal power generation is incompatible with keeping 1.5°C within reach, and said "international investments in unabated coal must stop now."
"(We) commit to take concrete steps towards an absolute end to new direct government support for unabated international thermal coal power generation by the end of 2021, including through Official Development Assistance, export finance, investment, and financial and trade promotion support," it added.
By Firdevs Yuksel