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Jakarta Post

G7 countries urged to shift from coal to renewable energy

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, June 7, 2015   /  06:29 pm

International Aid Agency Oxfam says the G7 leaders meeting in Germany, which began on Sunday, should focus on a shift from coal to renewable energy, which offers a safer and more cost effective alternative and the prospect of millions of new jobs around the world.

Such a move would provide impetus for the G7 not only to meet current emissions targets, but also to move closer to what was urgently needed, the agency added.

Oxfam International'€™s director of advocacy and campaigns, Celine Charveriat, said that ahead of a new climate deal due to be struck at the end of this year, G7 leaders could give the global fight against climate change the momentum it needed by shifting from coal.

'€œThis will make significant additional cuts in their emissions, create jobs and be a major step towards a safer, sustainable and prosperous future for us all,'€ she said in a release on Saturday.

Oxfam said in a recent report entitled '€œLet Them Eat Coal'€ that globally, coal was responsible for 72 percent of power-sector emissions, and while more than half of today's coal consumption is in developing countries, the scale of G7 coal burning is considerable.

'€œIf G7 coal plants were a country, they would be the fifth-biggest emitter in the world. G7 coal plants emit double the fossil fuel emissions of Africa and ten times as much as the 48 least-developed countries,'€ the agency said.

At a congress in Copenhagen in 2009, all countries agreed to prevent warming of more than 2 degrees to avoid runaway climate change, but the world is now on track to warm by 4 degrees. Five of the G7 countries have stepped up coal burning since then: France, Italy, Japan, the UK and host nation Germany.

Oxfam'€™s report analyses the different energy mixes of each G7 country and sets out when each one can feasibly become coal-free. Country-specific plans and policies could ensure the shift from coal is achieved in France by 2020, Italy by the 2020s, the UK by 2023, Canada and the US by 2030 and Germany by 2040. (ebf)(++++)

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