Leaders of the world’s economically strongest nations committed to phasing out fossil fuels by 2050 in a bid to keep global warming below the critical 2 °C threshold.
The commitment, made yesterday at a G7 summit in Germany, is believed to raise chances of the world to renegotiate the UN climate deal at a conference in Paris later this year.
After two-day negotiations led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the world’s leaders agreed to develop long-term low-carbon strategies and abandon fossil fuels by the end of the century.
"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 G7 leaders have not agreed on any immediate collective targets to reduce greenhouse gases, an action pressed by the European Union, but expressed confidence the UN climate summit in Paris later this year will reach a legal deal including binding rules to mitigate the climate change.
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.
Green lobby groups, usually critical of the developed world’s actions on climate change, welcomed the announcement.
"Merkel's G7 says 'Auf Wiedersehen' (farewell) to fossil fuels," global activist network Avaaz declared in a statement.
Greenpeace shared the enthusiasm by stating that "the vision of a 100 per cent renewable energy future is starting to take shape."
The summit recommended reducing greenhouse gas emissions in accord with the UN recommendations and backed a global target for limiting the rise in average global temperatures to 2 °C
200 countries will try to reach an agreement on limiting the temperature rise in November this year in Paris.