The end of coal is nigh. Seven of the world’s largest economies have come together to outlaw international investment in any related projects by the end of 2021.
The decision was made by The Group of Seven nations (G7), which includes the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. At the same time, the European Union has also agreed to the measures.
Japan was the final nation to come to the table and perhaps the most crucial. Not only will these nations stop funding these international mining projects, but it also leaves countries like China, India and Australia isolated and under pressure to follow suit.
The Group released a communique outlining their stance, saying: “international investments in unabated coal must stop now”.
“(We) commit to take concrete steps towards an absolute end to new direct government support for unabated international thermal coal power generation by the end of 2021, including through Official Development Assistance, export finance, investment and financial and trade promotion support,” the communique said.
The UK will host the 26th annual Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow from November 1-12.
United Kingdom Minister Alok Sharma is currently serving as president of the COP26 climate summit, and he said, “This commitment sends a clear signal to the world that coal is on the way out.
“We have all agreed to accelerate the transition away from dirty coal capacity.”
A United Nations report has declared 2021 as a “make or break year” in the fight against climate change, making COP26 an essential time for all nations to outline their strategies and deadlines.
The G7 announcement puts pressures on world leaders, including Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Chinese President Xi Jinping, President of Russia Vladimir Putin and other leaders, to bring more to the table.
John Kerry is the US climate envoy who was involved in the G7 decision, and he has urged all world economies to follow suit when it comes to funding such projects.
One of the biggest coal mining stories in the world has been unfolding in Queensland over the last decade. Indian giant Adani faced enormous opposition to get its mine at the Galilee Basin in Queensland approved and significant struggles in gaining funding.
The backlash was so significant that Adani Australia has since changed its name to Bravus Mining & Resources. They had to fund the Carmichael Mine themselves, with no investors coming forward.
A recent report from Greenpeace revealed that coal could be responsible for the premature deaths of 800 Australians each year and severe health problems in children.
Even Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that new coal-fired power stations are “an option that no large energy company or investor will touch” when he was Energy Minister in 2018.
Australia was also the clear global leader for green energy uptake in 2020 with an 18.4 per cent growth rate, which included adding 260 GW in capacity. Over 80 per cent of all new electricity added in 2020 came from eco-friendly sources, and it is hoped the G7 decision will trigger us to ditch the resource for good.