RISK: G7 leaders call for end of fossil fuel use

Countries should replace oil, gas and coal with wind and solar power

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the Group of Seven wealthy democracies have agreed that the world should phase out the use of fossil fuels by the end of this century.

Merkel said today that the G7 leaders committed themselves to the need to “decarbonize the global economy in the course of this century.”

That is a technical term for ending the use of oil, gas and coal––but not nuclear power––and replacing them with alternative sources of energy such as wind and solar power.

Merkel had pressed for the G7 to agree on the goal so it can be put forward at a summit on climate change later this year in Paris. Burning carbon-based fuels such as oil and gas releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which is blamed for global warming.

Merkel wants the G7 summit to give France momentum when it hosts the United Nations climate change conference this December in which it hopes to reach a breakthrough agreement in the fight to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Merkel is pushing the G7 to endorse a pledge to reach zero carbon emissions, but Canada and Japan are holdouts.

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