World has ‘gambled on fossil fuels and lost,’ warns Guterres


António Guterres addressed the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate in Washington DC, convened by John Kerry, the United States’ top climate envoy, and hosted by President Joe Biden.

According to the White House, there were countries that together accounted for 80 percent of global GDP, population and greenhouse gas emissions.

An infinite solution

The growth solution was clear, the secretary general told representatives:We have infinite resources at our disposal when it comes to energy needs. Wind, sun and tides never run out† If we can successfully replace finite, polluting fossil fuels with infinite renewable resources, we can add up the energy equation.”

He said stable prices and sustainable growth are achievable if renewables are prioritized. In addition, they help to reduce CO2 emissions and support energy security.

The time for hedging bets is over. The world has gambled and lost on fossil fuels”, stated Mr Guterres.

Obvious and present danger

Nothing is clearer than the danger of fossil fuel expansion today, he added.

“Even in the short term, it doesn’t make sense politically or economically. Yet we seem to be stuck in a world where fossil fuel producers and financiers have humanity by the throat

“For decades, many in the fossil fuel industry have invested heavily in pseudoscience and public relations—with a false story to minimize their responsibility for climate change and undermine ambitious climate policies.”

He compared the immensely profitable fossil fuel industry to the “outrageous tactics” of Big Tobacco in the mid-20th century.

Unsplash/Science in HD

Switching to renewable energy could prevent 4 to 7 million deaths from air pollution worldwide every year.

Take responsibility

“Like tobacco interests, interests in fossil fuels and their financial accomplices must not evade their responsibility† The argument for setting aside climate action to tackle domestic problems also rings hollow.

He said previous investments in renewable energy had avoided today’s predicament after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the massive surge in volatile oil and gas prices worldwide.

Ukraine riddle

“So, let’s make sure the war in Ukraine is not used to increase that dependency† Today’s most pressing domestic issues — such as inflation and gas prices — are climate and fossil fuel problems themselves.”

For the second time this week at a major international climate event, he hammered home his five-point plan for a “renewable energy revolution”.

“The climate crisis is our greatest emergency,” he said, urging governments to “end the era of fossil fuels”.

“The renewable energy revolution begins now,” he concluded.

Offshore wind energy is a constantly renewable and infinite energy source.

© Unsplash/Reegan Fraser

Offshore wind energy is a constantly renewable and infinite energy source.

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