Clean energy future 'is vital' - United Nations chief

10 Juillet, 2020, 19:54 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • United Nations secretary-general António Guterres

Japan, which relies on coal for more than a third of its power generation, said on Thursday it will tighten state-backed financing criteria for overseas coal-fired power plants, following criticism over its support for the dirtiest fossil fuel.

The challenges created by COVID-19 have also brought into focus the need to ensure resilience is built-in to future energy systems to cope with a broader range of external shocks, including more variable and extreme weather patterns expected from climate change.

Mr Guterres praised the EU, South Korea and Nigeria for their efforts to encourage the development of renewable energy but said pointedly that many countries had "still not got the message". I believe the bottom-up approach is fully coherent with who we are as democratic societies and nations.

"There is a global momentum to build a sustainable economic recovery process and momentum for clean energy transition", he said.

New research on G20 recovery packages released this week shows that twice as much recovery money - taxpayers' money - has been spent on fossil fuels as clean energy.

He said air pollution is already causing close to nine million early deaths each year and shortening human lifespans by three years - a heavier toll than tobacco, the United Nations chief claimed.

Second, science. All around the world, every month, there is new evidence of the increasing toll of climate disruption. This means net-zero emissions by 2050 and 45% cuts by 2030 from 2010 levels.

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He concluded his speech by urging the meeting to commit to no new coal today and for all the countries present to stop providing finance for coal in the developing world.

He said the business case for renewables was better than coal in almost every market and that green jobs and sustainable growth are both crucial. "The right decisions can put countries on a much safer and healthier footing". We need green jobs and sustainable growth. "Every financial decision must take account of environmental and social impacts".

Solar auctions have seen popularity rise amidst the height of the pandemic.

Nations must commit to net-zero emissions by 2050 and submit more ambitious national climate plans before COP-26 next year.

Many who study the future of carbon-free electricity systems in Europe and elsewhere are convinced that an efficient thermal fleet using green fuels produced by power- to-gas from the excess renewables coupled with gas storage and delivery systems is much better suited to serves as a enormous long-duration battery. "[We support] a bottom-up energy philosophy which by regulating less lets us innovate more".

Overall, we need to work together. This is in everyone's interest.

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