The G7 Ministers for Climate, Energy, and Environment have called on the shipping sector to reach zero emissions by 2050 during talks held in the northern Japanese city, Sapporo.
These talks came in conjunction with a 36-page document outlining the G7’s commitments ahead of a summit in Hiroshima in May.
“Recognising the current global energy crisis and economic disruptions, we reaffirm our commitment to accelerating the clean energy transition to net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 at the latest,” the document read.
“We call on and will work with other countries to end new unabated coal-fired power generation projects globally as soon as possible to accelerate the clean energy transition in a just manner.”
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The G7 ministers agreed to set intermediate goals for 2030 and 2040 in order to support efforts to keep global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
By 2025, they committed to working to develop and implement interim policies that would include regulatory cues and incentives to hasten the transformation of shipping.
The ministers also stressed through the document that by 2035, countries must use “predominantly” clean energy.
This however, permits some remaining room for fossil fuel-fired power to temporarily continue, according to CNBC.
Ministers nonetheless have agreed to prioritise steps in phasing out coal power generations that do not utilise mechanisms that capture emissions and prevent them from being released into the atmosphere.
“I think the unity for the goal that was expressed of phasing out unabated fossil fuels is a very important statement,” said US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry.
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Approximately 40 per cent of the world’s economic activity and a quarter of global carbon emissions is produced by the G7 nations solely, CNBC reported.
In a statement, the COP28 President-elect, who was also present at the Sapporo climate talks, urged the G7 countries to expand financial assistance for developing countries’ transitions to renewable energy.
“The global goal of reaching net zero by 2050 needs enhanced emission descaling by developed nations,” said Bhupender Yadav, environment minister, India.
This commitment comes a month after the governments of California and Japan announced a new partnership aimed at cutting emissions at seaports and establishing green shipping corridors.
In the same week, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) announced the signing of a five-year Impact Partnership agreement that aims to help the maritime industry eliminate GHG emissions.