G7 countries take aggressive climate action but hold back coal

“President Biden is committed to tackling the climate crisis at home and abroad, rallying the rest of the world at the Leaders’ Summit, the G7, and beyond to achieve bold goals during the next decade,” said Daleep Singh, deputy national security adviser. “While the previous administration ignored the science and consequences of climate change, our administration has taken unprecedented steps to prioritize this on the world stage.”

In addition to joining the 2015 Paris Agreement that Mr. Trump abandoned, Mr. Biden has pledged to cut US greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52% from 2005 levels by by 2030 and eliminate fossil fuel emissions from the US electric sector. by 2035.

But it was the UK, along with other European countries, that pushed aggressively at this year’s summit to stop burning coal for electricity by a specific date in the 2030s. coal is the biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions, and after a pandemic year-long retreat, demand for coal is expected to increase 4.5% this year, according to the International Energy Agency.

Instead, the final language of the leaders’ “communiqué” makes only a vague call to “rapidly develop technologies and policies that further accelerate the transition” from coal without carbon capture technology.

The debate at the top over how quickly to ditch coal has come at a particularly awkward time for Mr Biden, whose push for a major infrastructure package in a tightly divided Congress may hinge on a senator’s vote. Democrat: Joe Manchin, coal addict. West Virginia.

In a statement to The New York Times, Manchin noted “projections showing that fossil fuels, including coal, will be part of the global energy mix for decades to come” and praised the Biden administration for acknowledging the need to develop clean energy technologies. . But supporters of faster action said concerns over appeasement of Mr Manchin appeared to have prevented more aggressive action.

“Once again, Joe Manchin is casting a heavy shadow,” said Alden Meyer, senior partner at E3G, a European environmental think tank.

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