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In Turin, the G7 Environment, Energy and Climate aims for a farewell to coal

From 29 to 30 April the G7 Environment, Energy and Climate

The G7 Environment, Energy and Climate opens this morning in Turin, the fourth of the twenty-one events to be held this year under the Italian presidency. The work will begin at 10.00 with the plenary of the Ministers, then move on to the session dedicated to Climate and Energy and in the afternoon the one on the Environment. A dense two days that will have to concretize the results achieved in recent months by technical meetings and that, above all, will have to raise the bar of commitment compared to previous failures.

In 2023, the G7 summit in Japan ended with a very bad agreement on the environmental climate: more investment in gas, a vague reference to the abandonment of fossil fuels if used without carbon capture, and no precise commitment to the abandonment of coal. The energy crisis gave then a good excuse to hide behind so as not to take any step forward on the side of ambition. It is a pity that the decisions taken (or not taken) by the Group of Seven – Italy, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States – also affect the positions of the G20, making COP climate negotiations inevitably more complex as well.

Italy and the farewell to coal

Today, the G7 Environment, Energy and Climate in Turin must try to do more, and according to accredited sources, the Italian line would focus on obtaining the phase-out of coal. According to press reports, Rome has begun to push for an agreement between the Group countries to set a target. The date of the phasing out of coal from energy production. On the other hand, for Italy, the question has already been settled at the national level. The Belpaese has put its road map in black and white, promising to shut down the coal-fired thermal power plants within a year and in 2027 for Sardinia.

It is not so obvious for the other powers where fuel still plays a key role, and more precisely for Germany and Japan. In the first case, Christian Lindner, the German Finance Minister, said last November that Germany should “stop dreaming of phasing out coal energy by 2030” until it had more economic financial certainty about energy prices. Japan, however, has always refused to set any date for the phase-out, preferring to talk about clean coal.

Targets on the table at the G7 in Turin

The G7 Environment, Energy and Environment Ministerial will work on several objectives. According to the document published by the Italian Presidency, during the Summit the countries will discuss “to identify technologies to provide adequate energy availability and to ensure clean and sustainable energy for developing countries, with particular attention to the African continent, to reach the targets of decarbonization by 2050”.

In the pure climate aspect, the meeting will have to progress in strategic sectors for the reduction of emissions such as renewables and energy efficiency, critical raw materials and energy-intensive sectors. And here Italy renews its faith in the atom by including among the strategic sectors also “research and development for a more sustainable nuclear with a horizon 2040-2050”. A point that could create a lot of friction with Berlin, firmly opposed – according to official sources – to agree to support nuclear energy as a transition instrument for decrbonisation.

We also intend to work – continues the text – to promote an innovative model of collaboration between countries and public and private financiers to accelerate the start of the necessary investments”. On the environmental front, the summit will focus on: sustainable consumption and production, circular economy and resource efficiency, protection of marine, terrestrial and ecosystem biodiversity and sustainable management of natural resources, including sustainable use of soil and water resources.

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