The G7 nations have agreed to cease operation of their coal-fired power plants by the mid-2030s.

The decision aligns with global efforts to transition from fossil fuels and decarbonise economies.

A formal statement detailing the commitments is anticipated following the G7 energy ministers’ meeting held in Turin, Italy, in late April 2024.

The agreement follows a resolution at 2023’s COP28 summit to move away from fossil fuels and phase down the relentless use of coal power.

The final G7 accord may allow for flexibility in the timeline, accommodating countries with significant coal dependency by aligning the shutdown date with the 1.5°C temperature rise limit and net-zero objectives.

Reuters quoted Italy’s Energy Minister Gilberto Pichetto Fratin: “The issue is on the technical and political agenda (of the G7). We are working on it, I cannot go any further… if there is a final decision I will communicate it.”

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The US recently introduced regulations requiring coal plants to reduce or capture 90% of carbon emissions by 2032 if they plan to operate past 2039.

Italy, with 4.7% of its electricity from coal in 2023, intends to close its coal plants by 2025, except in Sardinia, where the deadline is 2028.

Germany and Japan rely more heavily on coal, with more than 25% of their electricity coal-generated in 2023.

Global coal-fired power capacity increased by 2% last year, mainly driven by China, while the EU and the US have seen a slowdown in plant closures.

The G7 is considering a significant expansion of battery capacity to support the storage of intermittent renewable energy, with a proposed sixfold increase by 2030.

Despite a national referendum rejecting nuclear power in 2011, Italy’s Government supports the role of nuclear in achieving the 2050 net-zero emissions goal. It is advocating for the inclusion of nuclear energy and biofuels as alternatives to fossil fuels in power generation and transport in the G7’s final communique.

The country’s energy minister also aims to convince the European Commission of the benefits of biofuels in reducing vehicle emissions.