Home From The Sidelines Climate Meeting at Turin: 2035 Deadline for Coal

Climate Meeting at Turin: 2035 Deadline for Coal

The Group of Seven Nations (G7) held their Meeting of Climate, Energy and Environment Ministers in Turin, Italy, on April 29, 2024. The meeting reached a significant breakthrough in climate policy as the ministers of all seven nations agreed on 2035 as the deadline to shut down all the coal plants in their respective countries. It has been quite a challenge in international climate talks to impose a deadline on the use of coal, a major pollutant. Countries like Japan will derive 32% of their electricity from coal until 2023.

Historic Agreement

According to Andrew Bowie, a United Kingdom (UK) minister at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, the agreement to phase out coal by 2035 is historic. It is also unprecedented as the ministers could not reach this agreement at the COP28 held in Dubai in 2023. The minister also pointed out how this historic decision by the world’s advanced economies will send a powerful message to other countries to follow suit. He noted on his account on X: “The #G7 presents a chance to tackle climate change and gather for the first time since the Global Stocktake at COP2. The UK is meeting our commitments, but we know that it’s by working together that we can keep 1.5 degrees alive and globally transition away from fossil fuels.”


Last week, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) formulated new rules that mandate coal plants to contain their environmental pollution or shut down by 2039. According to Katrine Petersen, a senior policy advisor at climate think tank E3G, the fact that this agreement comes a week after the EPA rules indicates the U.S.’s commitment to phase out coal as soon as possible. Both of these rules will accelerate the global phase-out process. Energy think tank Ember reports that the G7 depends on coal for 16% of its energy. The UK, France, Italy, and Canada have already committed to phasing out coal production. With recent developments, the U.S. has also joined the four countries. This is a significant step forward for Japan to participate in this agreement.

Way Ahead

Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of the United Nations (UN) Climate Change, highlighted on his social media account, X, that “#G7 leadership in climate action is more vital than ever. The largest developed economies can and should make bolder strides on deeper emissions cuts & bigger climate finance. G7 leadership is essential, if we are to avoid a global economic disaster.” He also pointed out in his speech how fossil fuels were primarily responsible for climate pollution and that the G7 countries should be more careful about reducing emissions in production.

The G7 comprises seven countries: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S. It also contains the European Union as a member with special status. The G7 is a global leader in climate policy. The group’s decisions often influence the G20, which has countries like China, India, Saudi Arabia, and Russia. The Turin meeting concluded on April 30, 2024, following which the agreement will be published officially.