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G7 leaders agree to abandon fossil fuels by 2050

Global warming might still be averted, thanks to a new commitment by the G7 leaders to completely abandon fossil fuels by mid-century.

I can hear Venice sighing with relief.

During the G7 summit in Germany, leaders of the world’s economically strongest nations have agreed to completely abandon fossil fuels by 2050 in a bid to keep global warming below the critical 2 °C threshold.

Even though the countries are still not legally bound to anything, this commitment is seen as a huge step forward, as the UN climate conference in Paris later this year draws closer.

"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 said they would accelerate access to renewable energy in Africa and intensify their support for vulnerable countries' own efforts to manage climate change.

Environment- conscious lobby groups, usually critical of how the developed world is handling the climate change issue, welcomed this announcement.

"Merkel's G7 says 'Auf Wiedersehen' (farewell) to fossil fuels," global activist network Avaaz declared in a statement.

Greenpeace was also in on the action, saying that "the vision of a 100 per cent renewable energy future is starting to take shape."

In November this year, 200 countries will come to Paris to try and reach an agreement on limiting the temperature rise. The global target for limiting the rise in average global temperatures is to 2 °C.