Coal in rapid decline and clean power is on the horizon
Together the G7, consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US, are responsible for 21% of global power sector emissions, down from 45% two decades ago.
Across the G7, coal-fired generation has shrunk by a third since 2015. The UK leads the pace, with a 92% collapse of coal use between 2015 and 2021, followed by Italy (-67%). Japan is the clear outlier, with coal still accounting for almost a third of electricity production and seeing only modest declines (-9%) since 2015. Gas dependence is going in the wrong direction and the G7 now accounts for 38% of global electricity generation from fossil gas.
To limit global temperature rises to 1.5C, the G7 must phase-out coal by 2030 and fully decarbonise electricity by 2035. The majority of G7 countries have committed to a Paris-aligned coal phase-out. However, Japan and the United States remain silent on the issue. The IEA has said that the G7 are ‘well placed’ to fully decarbonise their electricity by 2035. In 2021 the group agreed to achieve ‘overwhelmingly’ decarbonised power in the 2030s, but only four of the seven – the US, the UK, Canada and Germany – have committed to a firm 2035 deadline.
Last updated: March 2022