The G7 represents seven of the largest economies in the world and has recently been in talks in Berlin. And on Friday, May 27th, the G7 has committed to decarbonizing electricity by 2035, which is a major step to avoid exceeding 1.5C.
This group consists of the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom as the core 7 members. The European Union is also included as a whole. One of the major factors in such a commitment is the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Due to a heavy reliance on Russian oil, Russia has a huge amount of leverage over European nations that rely on it. By decarbonizing electricity, the EU will no longer be at the mercy of the oil system. That said, there is wiggle room in this commitment.
Specifically, members may continue using fossil fuels if they are abated. This just means that some portion of it is captured. Currently, there is no way to capture 100% of the emissions from fossil fuels.
While this is great news, the wiggle room leaves many slightly concerned.
One of the more reassuring bits of information came from the German Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, Robert Habeck.
He essentially said that the current outlook makes it clear that we cannot limit global warming to 1.5C. Instead of giving up on the goal, we need to take steps that ensure we can still achieve it.
And decarbonizing electricity among the seven largest developed economies in the world and the EU is a huge step towards that goal.
There was also an acknowledgment that decarbonizing the electricity sector is not only the most effective way to do this, but it is also the most economically viable option. And with oil prices at all-time highs, there’s no better time.
This marks a significant change as many nations have failed to update their climate goals accordingly. And not only do they fail to update these goals, but they also don’t even meet the goals they set. It’s a recipe for disaster any way you look at it.
Thus, it’s great news to actually hear these nations acknowledge such a truth.
The G7 Also Call On OPEC to Produce More Oil For Electricity
Of course, there’s no denying the current energy crisis facing the world as a result of Russia.
In response to this crisis, the G7 is calling on OPEC to step up oil production. While this might sound counterintuitive to the commitment they just made, it actually makes a lot of sense.
Unfortunately, no one can Thanos-snap fossil fuels out of existence and replace them with alternatives in an instant. No, instead, this is a process that will take many years. During this transition, the world needs to replace Russian oil production.
These measures are necessary, otherwise, nations may not be able to produce heat during the winter. It’s not ideal, but it is necessary.
That said, OPEC does not have to comply with this request, so we must wait and see.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.