UN Secy Gen Calls Renewable Energy A Lifeline To World

Highlights :

“We must end fossil fuel pollution and accelerate the renewable energy transition before we incinerate our only home… Transforming energy systems is low-hanging fruit”, he added.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres raised an alarm on May 18 that while time is running out to prevent the worst impacts of the climate crisis, there is a ‘lifeline’ of renewable energy right in front of us. A video message by UN Secretary General said, “We must end fossil fuel pollution and accelerate the renewable energy transition before we incinerate our only home… Transforming energy systems is low-hanging fruit”.

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Referring to the The State of the Climate 2021, the latest flagship report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), published on Wednesday, Guterres called it “dismal litany of humanity’s failure to tackle climate disruption”.

The State of the Climate 2021 indicates that extreme weather – the day-to-day face of climate change – wreaked a heavy toll of human lives, triggered shocks for food and water security, and led to hundreds of billions of dollars in economic losses last year.

Highlighting that renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar are readily available and in most cases, cheaper than coal and other fossil fuels, the UN chief proposed five critical actions to jump-start the energy transition, which he called the “peace project of the 21st century”.

1. Treating renewable energy technologies as essential global public goods.

Mr. Guterres called for a new global coalition on battery storage led by governments and bringing together tech companies, manufacturers and financiers to fast-track innovation and deployment.

2. Secure, scale up and diversify the supply components and raw materials for renewable energy technologies.

Decentralisation of supply chains for renewable energy technology is the need of hour because raw materials are concentrated in a handful of countries, and more international coordination is needed to overcome this obstacle.

3. Build frameworks and reform fossil fuel bureaucracies

The UN chief is calling for governments to fast-track and streamline approvals of solar and wind projects, modernize grids and set ambitious renewable energy targets that provide certainty to investors, developers, consumers and producers.

4. Shift subsidies away from fossil fuels

The governments around the world pour around half a trillion dollars into artificially lowering the price of fossil fuels every year – more than triple the subsidies given to renewables.

“While people suffer from high prices at the pump, the oil and gas industry is raking in billions from a distorted market. This scandal must stop”, Guterres highlights.

5. Private and public investments in renewable energy must triple

The UN chief is calling for and adjustment to risk frameworks and more flexibility to scale up renewable finance. “It’s time to jump-start the renewable energy transition before it’s too late”, the Secretary-General urged.

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