World Leaders Promise Fossil Fuel Phase-Out

At G-7 meeting, leaders called to eliminate fossil fuel use by century’s end.
June 10, 2015

BONN, Germany – Leaders of the world's seven largest economies, meeting this week in the Bavarian Alps for the Group of Seven (G-7) Summit, called for eliminating the use of fossil fuels by the end of the century.

The G-7 leaders met to address a wide range of issues, from terrorism to climate change, including a new global climate accord expected to be signed in Paris late this year, calling for all countries to submit plans to cut carbon after 2020, according to a report by Environment & Energy Daily (E&E).

"Recognizing that these targets are only a next step, G-7 leaders also articulated a long-term vision for decarbonizing our economies by the end of the century, as well as the need to be ambitious in setting goals for cutting carbon by 2050 in line with scientific evidence," the White House said in a statement addressing the global group’s consensus.

According to E&E, the G-7 calls for all nations to achieve global carbon cuts "at the upper end" of 40% to 70% below 2010 levels by midcentury. It also loosely outlines what industrialized countries hope to see in the climate accord later this year: ways to ensure countries are cutting carbon as promised; "binding rules," though not necessarily an internationally legally binding treaty; and a mechanism to promote increasing ambition over time.

The Summit comes as negotiators from nearly 200 countries gather along the Rhine River to nail down details of what they hope will become the Paris Climate Accord. Activists who had been keeping a close eye on the G-7 meeting said today that the agreement adds momentum to talks. At the same time, many acknowledge that the numbers need some work and some advocates felt the end-of-century timeline was not aggressive enough.

Still, according to E&E, activists said that overall, the G-7 declaration is a powerful signal about how the world is changing, particularly on a long-term goal of keeping fossil fuels in the ground.