The U.N. Secretary-General has condemned new funding for fossil fuel exploration and called it "delusional", calling for the end of fossil fuel finance.
Antonio Guterres gave a sobering assessment about the prospects of the planet in remarks he made via video at the Austrian World Summit.
He stated that the energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine had seen major economies double down on fossil fuels.
Guterres stated that the war reinforced an essential lesson: Our energy mix is in crisis. "Had our investments been massive in renewable energy in the past we wouldn't be so dependent on the instability of fossil fuel market now."
Russia's invasion in Ukraine has brought to light concerns about energy security and energy transition. The price of oil and gas continues to rise, adding to the concern.
Russia is a major supplier of both and many countries have made plans to decrease their dependence on Russia's hydrocarbons in recent weeks. These efforts to reduce dependence on Russian imports have created some difficult situations.
The European Commission presented details of a plan to increase EU's renewable energy capabilities and decrease its dependence on Russian fossil fuels in May. The European Commission acknowledged that some existing coal facilities might need to be used for longer than originally anticipated.
The environment is affected by coal. The U.S. Energy Information Administration lists many emissions from coal combustion. These include sulfur dioxide, particulates, carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides.
Greenpeace has also described coal as the "dirtiest, most polluting method of producing energy."
Guterres, U.N. Secretary General, spoke at the summit in Vienna and highlighted the "crippling costs" that are currently being faced by households and businesses. He added, "Our world is facing climate chaos."
He stated that "new funding for fossil fuel exploration, production infrastructure and production is delusional." It will only fuel the scourge od war, pollution, and climate catastrophe."
Former prime minister of Portugal called for "all financial players to abandon fossil fuel financing" and instead invest in renewables.
He stated that the only way to energy security, stability power prices, prosperity, and a livable world is to abandon polluting fossil fuels, especially coal, and accelerate the renewables-based energy transformation.
Guterres claimed that renewable energy sources were the "peace plan of the 21st Century." He proposed a strategy to "jumpstart" the transition to renewable energy.
This included a tripling in investments in renewables and moving energy subsidies away form fossil fuels to renewables. Also, fast-tracking approvals of wind and solar projects.
Guterres made a call for action on the future of the planet.
He stated that "the window to avoid the worst effects of the climate crisis' is closing quickly." "Our planet has warmed up to 1.2 degrees."
He stated that "to keep the 1.5 degree goal within reach", we must reduce emissions by 45 per cent by 2030, and achieve net zero emissions by the mid-century. However, the current national commitments will result in an increase of almost 14 percent for this decade.
Guterres' 1.5 degree Celsius reference is to the Paris Agreement's goal of limiting global warming to "well below 2 degrees Celsius, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius" compared to preindustrial levels.
He also referred to the International Energy Agency's recent report, noting that global energy-related CO2 emissions had risen by 6 percent between 2021 and 2021. He said, "Let's be clear." "Most national climate promises are not sufficient."
Guterres' latest comments are his latest contribution to the debate about climate change and the future energy sector.
He stated that the planet emerged from last year’s COP26 climate summit at Glasgow in March with "a certain naive optimism" and was now "sleepingwalking to climate disaster."