Guterres calls on G20 to dismantle coal infra

New Delhi: Stating that the global well-being is in jeopardy, in large part, because humans have not kept our promises on the environment, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called on the G20 governments to dismantle coal infrastructure and also gave full phase out year deadlines.

“I call on the G20 governments to dismantle coal infrastructure with a full phase-out by 2030 for OECD countries and 2040 for all others. And I call on all financial actors to abandon fossil fuel finance and invest in renewable energy,” Guterres said in his remarks at the opening of the landmark international meeting Stockholm+50 being held to commemorate the first human environment conference in 1972 held in Stockholm itself.

Guterres also said that renewable energy technologies should be seen as a global public good and that the necessary raw materials should be available to all.

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“We must scale up and diversify supply chains; reform bureaucracies to provide clarity to investors; fast track permits for renewable energy projects and accelerate grid modernization and shift subsidies from fossil fuels to support vulnerable people and to advance renewables,” he said.

Suggesting tripling of investments in renewables to at least $4 trillion a year, the Secretary General said: “On top of this, we must rapidly and vastly improve energy efficiency. We must reduce deforestation and promote more forest cover by 2030. We must vastly intensify efforts to restore coastal ecosystems and at least 1 billion hectares of degraded land in the next decade.”

The UN head honcho also said, the world must also triple investments in nature-based solutions.

“If we do these things we can avert climate catastrophe, end a growing humanitarian and inequality crisis and promote inclusive and sustainable development,” he said.

Earlier, he started with warning how “earth’s natural systems cannot keep up with our demands” as “we are consuming at the rate of 1.7 planets a year. If global consumption were at the level of the world’s richest countries, we would need more than three planet Earths.”

The Secretary General also warned that the humanity faces a triple planetary crisis: A climate emergency that is killing and displacing ever more people each year; ecosystems degradation that are escalating the loss of biodiversity and compromising the well-being of more than three billion people, and a growing tide of pollution and waste that is costing some 9 million lives a year.

“We need to change course — now — and end our senseless and suicidal war against nature. We know what to do. And, increasingly, we have the tools to do it. But we still lack leadership and cooperation,” he rued.

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