Leaders of the G7 have agreed to phase out fossil fuels within a little over a quarter-century to combat climate change, but they have been wrangling over whether to loosen commitments to phase out the use of carbon-emitting fuels in time to avert the worst climate change effects. The final communiqué from the summit included Japan’s sought language that blesses continued investment in certain types of coal-fired power plants that the Japanese government is helping to finance. The G7 have incentivised investments in wind and solar power, electric vehicles, and technology to aid energy efficiency, while at the same time, they have taken measures to keep fossil fuels flowing to global markets, both to avert an electricity crisis in Europe and to hold down gasoline prices. The push by some countries has alarmed environmental activists who say that endorsing public investment in gas is incompatible with the pledge nations made in Glasgow in 2021 to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Activists also worry that Japan’s timeline for developing its ammonia technology is too long for it to help with climate goals. The United States’s administration was caught between defending its president’s climate change agenda and aiding other US allies who want to increase their access to fossil fuels.
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