The UN Secretary General has called for the rapid scale up of renewable energy, within a raft of other measures, in efforts to reach net-zero emissions by mid century.
António Guterres’ said world is lagging behind in the ‘race against time’ to meet sustainable developments targets, including universal energy access by 2030.
He has also called on each and every country to raise ambitions to abandon coal and phase our fossil-fuel subsidies while ensuring a ‘just’ and ‘inclusive’ energy transition.
The following statement was made by to delegates of the Ministerial Thematic Forums of the High-Level Dialogue on Energy.
“I am pleased to welcome you to the Ministerial Thematic Forums of the High-Level Dialogue on Energy. I thank the Member State Global Champions for their leadership in co-hosting these gatherings,” said the UN Secretary General.
“These discussions take place at a pivotal moment. We are running far behind in the race against time to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 by 2030, and net-zero emissions by mid-century.
“Achieving universal energy access is crucial for delivering on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The milestones are clear: by 2030, we must cut global emissions by 45 per cent compared to 2010; and then continue to net zero by 2050.
“We need to speed up — dramatically. That is why I am convening the High-Level Dialogue on Energy on 20 September in New York. I call on every country, city, financial institution and company to raise ambition and submit “Energy Compacts” to achieve SDG7 and net-zero emissions.
“To achieve SDG7 and net-zero emissions, we must: achieve universal access to electricity for the 760 million people who currently go without; ensure clean cooking solutions for the 2.6 billion people still relying on harmful fuels; rapidly scale up renewables; end coal by 2030 in OECD [Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development] countries, and by 2040 globally; phase out fossil fuel subsidies and re-direct funds towards a just, inclusive energy transition; accelerate improvements in energy efficiency; create green jobs; triple clean energy investment; and ensure a just and inclusive energy transition to leave no one behind.
“Developed countries must honour their long-standing promise to provide $100 billion annually for climate action in developing countries. The High-Level Dialogue on Energy is a critical milestone towards the United Nations Climate Conference, COP26, in November.
“As we strive to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we have an opportunity to chart a sustainable future. Your support will be crucial. The United Nations looks forward to working with all stakeholders in this monumental effort.”