Speaking at a ministerial meeting on climate change, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reiterated his call for countries and private businesses to develop clear and credible plans to achieve zero emissions and carbon neutrality.
“We need robust, coherent plans to reduce emissions by 45% against 2010 levels by 2030,” said Mr. Guterres, underlining that this year will be crucial for limiting global temperature increases by 1.5 degrees Celsius, as stipulated in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
In this regard, the Secretary General also spoke about the need to abandon coal-fired power plants, redirect investments to projects in the field of renewable energy sources. The use of coal should be phased out by 2030 in the OECD countries (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) and by 2040 worldwide.
“Phasing out coal is the most important step towards limiting the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees. We must stop funding coal-fired power,” said he. In particular, the UN chief called on the G7 countries to commit doing this at the summit in June.
“Governments must spend the right money to align their investments with the goals of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda,” said Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Notably, the Berlin Dialogue on the Transition to Clean Energy launched a major campaign, “Be bold”, which aims to encourage action on achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7: to provide affordable, reliable, sustainable energy for all by 2030. The campaign comes ahead of two major events on climate change this year: The High-level Energy Dialogue in September, and the UN Climate Change Conference in November.
This initiative will provide governments, development businesses, and financial institutions with a set of tools which will help realize access to clean energy for all.