Financial institutions

UN chief urges financial institutions to stop funding fossil fuels

By trend

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called on all financial institutions to abandon fossil fuel financing, Trend reports quoting Xinhua

In a video address to Austria’s World Summit in Vienna, the top UN official said renewables were “the peace plan of the 21st century” and called for scrapping fossil fuel funding altogether, for the benefit of the green alternative.

“I call on all financial actors to abandon fossil fuel financing and invest in renewable energy,” he said.

“The only real path to energy security, stable electricity prices, prosperity and a livable planet is to move away from polluting fossil fuels, especially coal, and accelerate the energy transition based on renewables”, did he declare.

The UN chief has warned that the window to prevent the worst impacts of the climate crisis is “closing fast”, and to keep the 1.5 degree goal of limiting global warming within reach, emissions must be reduced by 45% by 2030, with net zero emissions by 2050.

“But current national commitments will lead to an increase of almost 14% in this decade,” he said, adding that energy-related CO2 emissions increased by 6% last year, “ when they should go down.

“Let me be blunt: most national climate commitments are simply not good enough. That’s not just my view. Science and public opinion give half-hearted climate policies a giant failure,” the secretary-general said.

As a result, Guterres warned that serious consequences would ensue, with nearly half of the world’s population already at risk.

In the paradox, he said, cheaper, more reliable and fairer energy options should have been developed earlier.

“If we had invested heavily in renewables in the past, we wouldn’t be so dramatically at the mercy of volatile fossil fuel markets.”

Over the past decade, solar and battery prices have fallen by 85%, while the price of wind power has fallen by 55%.

“On the other hand, oil and gas have reached record price levels. And investment in renewable energy creates three times more jobs than fossil fuels,” the secretary-general said.

To counter today’s new economic shocks, he reiterated his five-point action plan on renewable energy, which includes transforming renewable energy technologies into a global public good, improving access supply chains for components and raw materials for renewable energy technologies, and the reform of the red band system that is holding back the renewable generation revolution.

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