UN head calls for “revolution” in renewable energy for a better future for all people

Date:

UN head calls for "revolution" in renewable energy for a better future for all people

  • news by AUN News correspondent
  • Monday, January 16, 2023
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • “Under current policies, we are headed for 2.8 degrees of global warming by the end of the century.”

  • Mr. Guterres said this must double to over 60 per cent by 2030 and 90 per cent by mid-century.

  • Strengthening energy sovereignty President of the UN General Assembly, Csaba Kőrösi, underlined how success in climate protection depends on the transition to clean energy.

  • ‘Desperate race against time the General Assembly President outlined steps that must be taken for renewable energy to comprise 60 per cent of global power generation by 2030.They include investing in scientific tools for measuring, setting up a way to check progress, removing intellectual property barriers, and making partnerships stronger for sustainable energy projects.

  • “We are in a desperate race against time. “

“Only renewables can safeguard our future, close the energy access gap, stabilize prices, and ensure energy security,” he said in a video message to the 13th Session of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Assembly, taking place this weekend in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

“Let us work together to kickstart a renewables revolution and create a brighter future for all.”

‘Death sentence’ for many

The world is still addicted to fossil fuels, and the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius is fast slipping out of reach, the UN chief warned.

“Under current policies, we are headed for 2.8 degrees of global warming by the end of the century.” The consequences will be devastating. Several parts of our planet will be uninhabitable. “And for many, this is a death sentence,” he said.

Renewable energy sources currently account for about 30 percent of global electricity.

Mr. Guterres said this must double to over 60 per cent by 2030 and 90 per cent by mid-century.

Global public goods

His Five-Point Energy Plan first calls for removing intellectual property barriers so that key renewable technologies, including energy storage, are treated as global public goods.

Countries must also make their supply chains for raw materials and parts for renewable technologies more diverse and give more people access to them without hurting the environment.

“This can help create millions of green jobs, especially for women and youth in the developing world,” said Mr. Guterres.

In Belarus,UNDP helped build the country’s biggest wind-farm. Wind energy could help Belarus become energy-independent by 2050.

Sergei Gapon / UNDP Belarus

In Belarus, UNDP helped build the country’s biggest wind farm. Wind energy could help Belarus become energy-independent by 2050.

Subsidize the shift

The Secretary-General urged decision-makers to cut red tape, fast-track approvals for sustainable projects worldwide and modernize power grids.

His fourth point focused on energy subsidies. He said that we need to move away from fossil fuels and toward clean, affordable energy. He also said, “We must help vulnerable groups who will be affected by this change.”

The final point highlighted how public and private investments in renewables should triple to at least 4 trillion dollars a year.

Noting that most investments in renewables are in developed countries, the Secretary-General urged countries to work together to reduce the capital cost for renewables and ensure that financing flows to those who need it most.

He also said that multilateral development banks must put a lot of money into building infrastructure for renewable energy and that richer countries must work with credit agencies to help developing countries make more green investments.

Strengthening energy sovereignty

The President of the UN General Assembly, Csaba Kőrösi, underlined how success in climate protection depends on the transition to clean energy.

“However, the energy transition that we anticipated was a peacetime agenda,” he said in a pre-recorded message.  “How will it work in major political confrontations when energy supplies are turned into a tool of conflict?”

Although setbacks might occur in the short term, along with a probable rise in the greenhouse gas emissions that drive global warming, Mr. Kőrösi pointed to the long-term benefits of green energy.

“If we look into the investment trends, the long-term impact of the conflict might be the opposite. Renewable energy sources are available for every climate from solar to wind, wave, and geothermal. “Their use has the potential of strengthening energy sovereignty,” he said.

Weather and climate-related disasters - extreme floods, heat and drought affected millions of people and cost billions in 2022, as tell-tale signs and impacts of climate change intensified.

Weather and climate-related disasters – extreme floods, heat and drought affected millions of people and cost billions in 2022, as tell-tale signs and impacts of climate change intensified.

‘Desperate race against time

The General Assembly President outlined steps that must be taken for renewable energy to comprise 60 per cent of global power generation by 2030.

They include investing in scientific tools for measuring, setting up a way to check on progress, removing barriers related to intellectual property, and making partnerships stronger for sustainable energy projects.

Mr. Kőrösi stressed the urgency to act now.

“We are in a desperate race against time. “To combat climate change, we need bold transformative action,” he said. “We know. We have the means. “We should only have the will.”

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