Clean power on the rise as coal phasedown continues
Together the G7, consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, are responsible for 21% of global power sector emissions in 2022..A decade ago, the G7 contributed almost one-third of these emissions.
Since 2015, electricity generation from coal has shrunk by 35% across the G7. The UK leads the pace, with a 93% collapse of coal use between 2015 and 2022, followed by France (-63%). Japan is the clear outlier, with coal still accounting for almost a third of electricity production and seeing only modest declines (-6%) since 2015. Gas dependence is still high, as the G7 accounts for 40% of global electricity generation from fossil gas in 2022. However, year-on-year growth of gas-powered generation in the G7 has slowed since 2015 and even dropped in 2017 (-3%), 2020 (0%), and 2021 (-2%). Although it grew between 2021-2022 (5%), the gas crisis of 2022 has been a turning point, as it revealed vulnerabilities of global gas, prompting the G7 to reconsider gas dependence.
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: May 2023