9 Jun 2015

G7 leaders resolve to phase out fossil fuels

10:40 am on 9 June 2015

Leaders of the world's major industrial democracies have signalled an intent to move beyond the use of fossil fuels in an effort to fight climate change.

Meeting in Germany, the G7 leaders pledged in a communique after their two-day meeting to develop long-term low-carbon strategies and abandon fossil fuels by 2100.

Balloons with faces of leaders at the G7 summit.

Balloons with faces of leaders at the G7 summit. Photo: AFP / RIA Novosti

"We commit to doing our part to achieve a low-carbon global economy in the long-term, including developing and deploying innovative technologies striving for a transformation of the energy sectors by 2050," the communique read.

The leaders invited other countries to join them in their drive, saying they would accelerate access to renewable energy in Africa and intensify their support for vulnerable countries' own efforts to manage climate change.

The G7 stopped short of agreeing any immediate collective targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which the Europeans had pressed their partners in the club to embrace.

But they said a UN climate conference later this year should reach a deal with legal force, including through binding rules, to combat climate change.


The leaders also pressed Greece to accept painful economic reforms to resolve its debt crisis.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: AFP

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that time is running out for a deal to keep Greece in the eurozone.

Speaking after the summit, she said Europe would show solidarity but only if Greece mades proposals and implemented reforms.

Earlier, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said it was time to stop finger-pointing and find an agreement.

The G7 leaders struck a firm tone on Russia's role in Ukraine.

They agreed that existing sanctions against Russia would remain in place until Moscow and Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine fully respect a ceasefire negotiated in Minsk in February, and said they could escalate sanctions if needed.