SAPPORO: Environment and other ministers of the Group of Seven major powers Sunday endorsed a target of reducing the world’s greenhouse gas emissions by 60 pct from the 2019 level by 2023.
The G-7 climate, energy and environment ministers “highlight the increased urgency” of achieving the target, said a joint statement adopted at their two-day meeting in Sapporo, Hokkaido, northern Japan.
The ministers made clear their commitment to observing the goal of limiting rises in world temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius from preindustrial levels under the Paris climate agreement, despite the global energy crisis worsened by Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine.
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last month pointed to the need for the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60 pct from the 2019 level by 2035 in order to reach the 1.5-degree goal.
The G-7 members — Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States plus the European Union–also agreed to halve carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles by 2035.
Meanwhile, the statement includes no specific target to promote the use of zero emission vehicles, such as electric vehicles, which do not emit greenhouse gases during driving.
Regarding the phased abolition of coal-fired thermal power plants, the ministers agreed that the measure will be carried out “in a manner consistent with” the 1.5-degree goal. But the statement does not say when the phaseout should be achieved.
The lack of such targets seems to reflect the circumstances of Japan, this year’s G-7 president. The country relies heavily on thermal power plants amid tardy progress of efforts to boost the use of renewable energy sources, while its automobile industry is strong in gasoline-electricity hybrid vehicles.