UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it was time to move away from coal, proposing to close coal mines, but at the same time provide miners and employees of coal-fired power plants with work, including through the development of renewable energy sources.
Speaking at the meeting on the use of coal in the energy sector organized by the UK and Canada, the UN chief called for more vigorous efforts to reduce environmental pollution and keep the temperature rise below 1.5 ° C.
“Phasing out coal in the power industry is the most important step towards our goal of keeping temperatures above 1.5 degrees Celsius. It is about reducing the use of coal in electricity production by 80 percent by 2030 compared to 2010 levels, ”said Antonio Guterres, recalling that fossil fuel-related air pollution is the cause of one in five deaths worldwide. world.
As the UN Secretary General said, gone are the days when entire regions had cheap electricity and stable jobs from coal. Today it is more profitable to receive electricity from renewable sources.
"In almost all markets it is now cheaper to build new capacities using renewable energy sources than new coal-fired power plants," the Secretary General emphasized.
Citing data from the International Energy Agency, Guterres noted that in countries such as China and India, the cost of building new solar power plants is less than running existing coal-fired power plants.
The head of the UN believes that the time has come to more decisively abandon coal as a source of electricity. This should be done in stages in three priority areas:
- cancel all planned coal-fired power plant projects and end coal dependence;
- stop international financing of coal-fired power plants and switch investments to renewable energy projects;
- create new jobs through the development of clean energy sources, which will solve the problem of inevitable job loss in mines
The UN chief expressed hope that the G7 members will announce their plans to phase out coal dependence in the electricity sector at their June summit.
“We can have renewable energies and blue skies. We can have decent, safe and sustainable jobs. We can have reliable renewable energy systems, ”said the UN Secretary General. He is confident that today there is every opportunity to overcome coal dependence and create an economy that will flourish through innovative businesses aimed at sustainable and environmentally friendly development.
Earlier today International Energy Agency stated that global CO 2 emissions have returned to pre-pandemic levels and then exceeded, making it impossible to achieve the Paris Climate Agreement target of limiting global warming.