Emmanuel Macron urged the G7 countries, Friday at COP28 in Dubai, to “commit to ending coal” before 2030 to “set an example”. He recalled that France had committed to doing so in 2027, the year of the end of its five-year term. “The G7 has a major responsibility. Just like China, which is now the second historical emitting country and which has therefore changed its status in some way,” he stressed.

The continuation of investments in favor of coal is “a real absurdity” with regard to the objective of combating global warming, and “so we must initiate an absolute shift” to get out of it, pleaded the French president at the podium of the UN climate summit. He called on businesses to “stop subsidizing new coal plants” when “as I speak to you the private sector has no disincentive to finance a coal plant.”

The French president addressed emerging countries for whom decarbonization is “the second fight after that which the richest countries must lead”. “We must allow them to catch up economically, it is an element of justice”, but it must not be achieved “on the basis of carbon-based energies, and in particular coal”, argued Mr. Macron, who suggested the establishment of an “interest rate for green and an interest rate for brown”.

Because “existing power plants, which are largely concentrated in Asia today, will alone emit enough CO2 for us to exceed the target of 1.5°C”, the most ambitious objective of the Paris agreement, justified the French president. Regarding France, “we will definitely have to turn the page on oil by 2040-2045 and gas by 2050,” he added.

Very offensive regarding environmental issues on the international scene since his election to the presidency of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron had initially committed to closing the last four coal-fired power plants on the national territory in 2022. A party commitment postponed until the end of his second and final presidential term, to the great dismay of environmental defense associations.