G7 agrees to phase out fossil fuels by end of the century

G7 agrees to phase out fossil fuels by end of the century

G8 (currently G7) leaders in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, June 2013. (Image by Pete Souza – White House)

The seven industrial nations that form the so-called G7 agreed Monday to phase out the use of fossil fuels by the end of the century, in an effort they believe would help reduced greenhouse gases.

The leaders of the U.S., Canada, Germany, France, the UK, Japan, and Italy, who are meeting in the German region of Bavaria this week, said they have committed themselves to the need to “decarbonize the global economy in the course of this century.”

In practical terms, that means the leaders have committed to cut emissions generated mainly by the coal, oil and gas industries by 40% to 70% by 2050 from 2010 levels.

German chancellor and the summit’s host, Angela Merkel, said the group also reaffirmed a pledge to raise $100 billion a year from public and private sources by 2020 to help poorer nations tackle climate change.

Canada, Japan blocked taks

According to Canadian Press, Japan and Canada blocked attempts at a stronger statement on binding greenhouse gas reduction targets.

Despite the challenges, today’s decision represents a victory for Merkel and France’s President François Hollande, who had been pushing for an agreement on decarbonising the global economy ahead of the meeting.

It remains unclear, however, how exactly the seven nations’ leaders will meet the emissions reduction goals they have backed.