The G7 group of leading industrialised nations has committed to move to an “overwhelmingly” decarbonised power system in the 2030s.
Speaking at the end of a virtual two-day summit of environment and energy ministers, Alok Sharma, the president of the Cop26 international climate talks, said they had made “substantial progress” in moving away from coal.
“We have all agreed to accelerate the transition away from dirty coal capacity to an overwhelmingly decarbonised power system in the 2030s,” he told reporters.
“This commitment sends a clear signal to the world that coal is on the way out.”
With the UK holding the presidency of the G7 as well as Cop26, he said they hoped other leading economies would also follow suit ahead of the summit in Glasgow in November.
In particular, he said that China – the world’s biggest emitter – needed to make good on commitments by President Xi Jinping to become carbon neutral by 2060, with emissions peaking by 2030.
“Frankly what we also want to see are the near-term policies that will then help to deliver the longer-term targets. The whole of the Chinese system needs to deliver on what President Xi Jinping has set out as his policy goals,” he said.
“You can’t fund a coal-fired plant in the United States and you can’t do it in Europe. The market won’t go there. The marketplace is going to make a decision for us,” he said.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said the meeting had also agreed to to halting and reversing the loss of biodiversity by 2030, with targets to protect 30% of global land and oceans.
“We will also take domestic action so that we lead by example and play our part,” he said.