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Explained: Targets of G7 for a heating planet

As the Group of Seven environment ministers meet this weekend in Sapporo, here are their countries’ main climate targets:

France is running late on its renewable energy plans, and leans largely on nuclear for its decarbonisation efforts.(AFP)


G7 president Japan is targeting carbon neutrality by 2050 — a goal shared by all other members except Germany, which has a more ambitious 2045 deadline.

Heavily reliant on imported fossil fuels, by 2030 Japan wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 46 percent from 2013 levels.

To help achieve this, the government wants to restart more of the nuclear reactors that were taken offline after the 2011 Fukushima meltdown. Around a third are already back in action, although not all are operational year-round.

Campaigners criticise Japan’s continued overseas fossil fuel investments, with Oil Change International saying the country spent an annual average of $6.9 billion on new gas, coal and oil projects in 2020-22.

United States

The United States, the world’s second-largest carbon emitter after China, was a driving force behind the 2015 Paris Agreement to keep global temperature increases “well below” two degrees Celsius.

After Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the pact, the country rejoined under President Joe Biden, who has set a 2030 goal to slash emissions by 50 to 52 percent compared to 2005.

He is also ploughing $370 billion into subsidies and tax cuts for US companies that invest in green tech.

Last month, however, the Biden administration brushed aside pressure from environmentalists and approved a controversial oil-drilling project in Alaska.


The European Union’s largest economy has more ambitious targets than the bloc itself, pledging to cut emissions by 65 percent by 2030 from 1990 levels, compared to the EU goal of at least 55 percent.

It’s part of an unprecedented energy overhaul in Germany, which has nearly doubled the share of power it produces from renewables over the past decade, while also phasing out nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster.

The nation, which has faced an energy squeeze since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is aiming “ideally” to close all domestic coal-fired power plants by 2030.

Germany, a leading car producer, had blocked an EU plan to ban new sales of fossil fuel vehicles by 2035, but a deal was reached last month that includes an exception for synthetic fuel.

United Kingdom

Former EU member United Kingdom has the most far-reaching short-term emissions target of any major economy, pledging 78 percent cuts from 1990 levels by 2035.

It plans to ban petrol and diesel cars from 2030, is scaling up renewable energy and nuclear power, and will invest 20 billion pounds ($25 billion) into carbon capture technology over the next two decades.


France aims to reduce emissions by 40 percent by 2030 compared to 1990, and is expected to set new targets soon to meet the EU’s ambitious goals.

It is running late on its renewable energy plans, and leans largely on nuclear for its decarbonisation efforts.


Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing government has criticised the EU’s climate strategy, arguing its fast transition risks jobs.

Italy’s 2030 emissions-cut target is 33 percent from 2005 levels, but this will also need to increase in line with EU requirements.


Although less ambitious than the United States, Canada is targeting a 40-45 percent emissions cut by 2030 from 2005 levels.

But it beats its neighbour on goals for the auto industry, planning to prohibit new sales of fossil fuel cars by 2035, ahead of Biden’s pledge for half of new vehicle sales in 2030 to be zero-emissions.

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