Last reviewed 28 May 2021

The world’s leading economies have unanimously agreed to net zero emissions by 2050 and to end unabated coal finance in 2021.

The decision marks a milestone in the race to stop global temperatures rising more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. According to UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report, this new commitment will require cutting emissions by at least 7.6% per year from now until 2030, which means slashing worldwide CO2 emissions by 47 giga tonnes before the end of this decade.

To support the new targets, all G7 members have agreed to the global initiative to conserve or protect at least 30% of the world’s land and 30% of the world’s ocean by 2030, phase out government funding for fossil fuel projects internationally and invest in a green and sustainable recovery, post Covid.

Billed as the “first net zero G7”, the UK-led summit sets a high bar for this year’s COP26 to be held in Glasgow later this year. COP26 President-Designate, Alok Shar, who helped convene the meeting ahead of this year’s G7 summit, which will be held in Cornwall in June, said:.

“We know we need to consign coal to history and the G7 has taken a major step towards a decarbonised power system. We are acting abroad as we’re doing at home by agreeing to phase out international fossil fuel finance, starting with coal - another key milestone in this crucial year for climate action.”

G7 key commitments include:

  • Reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

  • Phase out fossil fuels with direct and unilateral government action.

  • Prioritise climate issues during post-pandemic recovery by facilitating new, green jobs and more resilient, sustainable economic policies.

  • Mobilise capital to support that green recovery.

With emissions continuing to rise by 1.5% per year, leading economies still to address growing criticism over a $20bn shortfall in the £100bn a year commitment to support countries vulnerable to rising sea levels and severe climate change impacts.