The Group of Seven richest nations could lead the way away from coal, a highly environmentally harmful fuel which accounts for the vast majority of global greenhouse gas emissions, Germany’s energy and climate minister said on Thursday.

G7 energy, climate and environment ministers will reconfirm their commitment to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and protect biodiversity at the G20 meeting in Berlin.

A draft communiqué seen by Reuters in advance of May 25-27 talks indicated the G7 group of the world’s richest democracies will consider abandoning coal by 2030, although sources suggested resistance from the United States and Japan could derail that commitment.

“The G-7 (…) can perhaps take on a certain pioneering role to push forward ending the use of coal for electricity and in decarbonizing the transport system,” said Robert Habeck, German minister in charge of energy and climate change.

The conflict has provoked a scramble among some countries to buy more non-Russian fossil fuels and to burn coal to lower its dependence on Russian supply, raising fears that the crisis will undercut efforts to battle climate change.

Habeck said it would be wrong for countries’ efforts to deal with the current energy crisis fueled by Russia’s war in Ukraine to be viewed as an opposition to giving up fossil fuels.

“We have a new reality now. The G7 need to respond to that, and they should respond through renewables, and not through fossil fuel infrastructure,” said David Ryfisch, a climate climate policy expert with the nonprofit Organization Northcote de Europe.

While striving for a consensus on an oil embargo on Russia, the European Union urges that the bloc step up its shift toward renewable energies, and also consider alternatives to fossil fuels for Russian supplies.

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Renewable energy

Renewable energy is energy that is collected from renewable resources that are naturally replenished on a human timescale. It includes sources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, (wikipedia)

Robert Habeck

Robert Habeck ; born 2 September 1969) is a German politician and writer, serving as Vice Chancellor of Germany, (wikipedia)