G7 and Coal Power 

GS-2 or GS- 3 Mains 

Revision Notes 

Question : Critically evaluate the implications of the G7 agreement to phase out unabated coal power by 2035 on global efforts to combat climate change. Analyze the potential challenges and opportunities for G7 member countries in achieving this target and its impact on the global energy landscape.

 G7 Agreement:

  • Energy ministers from G7 (major industrialized nations) agreed to phase out unabated coal power (coal without carbon capture) by 2035.

Global Context:

  • G7 represents 38% of the global economy but contributes 21% of greenhouse gas emissions (2021 data).
  • Environmental groups advocate for a 2030 coal phase-out and a 2035 deadline for gas-fired power.

Group of Seven (G7)


  • Intergovernmental organization of the world’s most industrialized economies.


  • France, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, United States, Canada, Japan.


  • Originated from an informal meeting of Finance Ministers in 1973 (post-oil crisis).
  • Canada joined in 1976, EU began attending in 1977.
  • Briefly called G8 with Russia’s inclusion (1997-2014).
  • Reverted to G7 after Russia’s expulsion (2014).

India and Coal:

  • Reserves: India has significant coal reserves and is a top-3 global producer.
  • Production: Coal India Limited (CIL), a state-owned company, is the world’s largest government-owned coal producer.
  • Consumption: Coal demand is rising due to surging power needs and industrial activity.
  • Import/Export: India imports coal despite being a major producer, due to logistical challenges and specific coal needs.

Challenges of Phasing Out Coal Power Plants in India (as of April 2024)

  • Heavy Reliance on Coal: Coal currently provides 75% of India’s power supply, with renewables contributing only 22%.
  • Dependency on Natural Factors: Renewable sources like solar and wind are variable, requiring significant investment in battery storage for consistent power.
  • Concerns with Hydropower:
    • Environmental damage from projects in the Himalayas.
    • Potential conflicts over water resources.
  • Limited Nuclear Power Contribution: Nuclear plants generate only around 3.15% of India’s electricity.
  • Infrastructure Challenges:
    • Large-scale infrastructure development is needed for renewable energy transition.
    • Speed and scale may be difficult for a vast and diverse country like India.
  • Grid Integration Issues: Integrating renewable energy sources with the existing grid requires flexibility to handle supply fluctuations.

Government Initiatives for Renewable Energy Transition

  • Target: Reach 500 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030 (triple the current capacity).
  • National Solar Mission (NSM): Launched in 2010, it sets ambitious targets for solar power projects (grid-connected and off-grid).
  • Green Energy Corridors: This project improves transmission infrastructure to integrate renewable energy into the national grid.
  • Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO): Mandates power distribution companies and large consumers to source a portion of their power from renewable sources, boosting demand.
  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM): Promotes solar use in agriculture through solar pumps, grid-connected solar pump solarization, and barren land solar power plants.
  • International Solar Alliance (ISA): India co-founded this coalition to address energy needs of solar-rich countries through solar energy promotion.

Concluding Remarks

  • The G7 agreement on phasing out coal aligns with the COP28 climate summit’s call for transition from fossil fuels.
  • This can accelerate investment shifts from coal to clean technology, especially in Japan and potentially influence Asian coal economies like China and India.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *