• Friday, March 01, 2024
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UN chief urges countries to speed up net-zero timelines

Phasing out fossil fuel is necessary, inevitable – UN chief

António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, has urged countries to speed up their net-zero timelines to 2040 for developed countries and 20250 for emerging economies to arrest the world’s slide toward environmental catastrophe.

The UN chief, who made the remarks to world leaders at the ongoing climate change conference (COP28) in Dubai, said countries must accelerate a just, equitable transition to renewables.

“Renewable energy is the gift that keeps on giving. It is good for our planet, our health and our economies,” he said.

According to him, renewable energy has helped countries clean the air, meeting its growing energy demand and connecting millions of people to affordable electricity.

He added that renewables have also helped to bring stability and security to markets, noting that “saving money –renewable energy has never been cheaper.”

Read also: Nigeria stands aloof as the world runs to curtail climate change

The UN chief warns that earth’s vital signs are failing –record emissions, ferocious fires, deadly droughts and the hottest year ever, noting that countries are miles away from the goals of the Paris Agreement and minutes to midnight for the 1.5–degree limit.

But it is not too late, he assured, adding “You can prevent planetary crash and burn. We have the technologies to avoid the worst of climate chaos – if we act now.”

He said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has charted a clear path to a 1.5-degree world that would require leadership, cooperation and political will now.

“Our world is unequal and divided. As we see in this region, conflicts are causing immense suffering and intense emotion,” he said.

Read also: Nigeria’s assets threatened as climate change global action debuts – Report

“And climate chaos is fanning the flames of injustice. Global heating is busting budgets, ballooning food prices, upending energy markets, and feeding a cost-of-living crisis,” he added. “Climate action can flip the switch,” he noted.

According to him, the success of COP28 depends on the Global Stocktake prescribing a credible cure in three areas – drastically cutting emissions, a wide country’s promise that covers all greenhouse gases and aligns with the 1.5-degree limit and leadership from the G20.