G7: fossil fuels must be phased out by the end of this decade

Obama and Merkel in idyllic surroundings in Bavaria, Germany. Photo credit: Reuters / Michael Kappeler / Pool.
By Anders Lorenzen

Last month at a G7 summit in Bavaria, Germany, world leaders pledged to vein themselves off fossil fuels by the end of this decade.

Climate change slipped down the agenda at the summit, with Russia, EU’s debt crisis and corruption topping it. But Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande had lobbied hard to get it to the top of the agenda, as the crucial Paris climate summit COP21 is less than six months away.

A communiqué released by the group stated: “We commit to doing our part to achieve a low-carbon global economy in the long-term, including developing and deploying innovative technologies striving for a transformation of the energy sectors by 2050”.

The seven largest economies in the world urged other countries to follow suit, stating that they would accelerate access to renewable energy in Africa as well as increase their efforts to support vulnerable countries dealing with the impacts of climate change.

Though green advocates would be concerned that no actual targets of greenhouse gas emissions were agreed on at the summit. The countries did say that a legal framework with binding targets must be reached in Paris later this year in order to tackle climate change.

The developments were seen as a major milestone by green groups, with online campaigning group Avaaz jubilant saying that Merkel says Auf Wiedersehen to fossil fuels while Greenpeace says that the vision of a 100% renewable energy future is starting to take shape.

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