UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said that governments need to stop “dragging their feet” when it comes to climate action and commitments to curb carbon emissions.
During the World Summit meeting in Vienna, he labelled countries looking to invest in fossil fuels such as coal and oil and gas due to the Ukraine War “delusional”.
To cut dependence on Russian energy many countries have begun looking to build their own projects – but Guterres insisted that these should be nothing but renewable, labelling renewable energy as the 21st century ‘peace plan’.
Many countries see fossil fuels as a short-term fix when it comes to energy security – but the UN Chief has explained that even returning to coal or gas for a little while could compromise any chance of achieving the Paris Agreement.
To ensure temperatures are kept below 1.5°C, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions being emitted globally needs to halve.
This could become an insurmountable feat if new fossil fuel projects are being built, Guterres emphasised.
“Had we invested massively in renewable energy in the past, we would not be so dramatically at the mercy of the instability of fossil fuel markets,” he said.
Rising prices of oil and gas, compared with a sharp decline in the price of renewables was used as a key point to convince the world by the Secretary-General.