UN Secretary-General calls for higher renewable energy targets


UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for a scaling up in investment in renewable energy in his keynote address to a major climate action summit, the R20 Austrian World Summit.

None of the world’s challenges loom as large as climate change, Mr Guterres said, reiterating his belief that global warming poses an “existential threat” to humanity.

He said, however, there was reason to hope, declaring that “the world is seeing a groundswell of climate action,” citing examples including Morocco’s building of a solar farm “the size of Paris, that will power over a million homes by 2020” and China’s achievement in already passing it’s 2020 goal of producing 105 gigawatts of solar power capacity.

“Investments in clean, green infrastructure need to be scaled up globally,” he explained.

“For that, we need leadership from the finance and investment community and by local, regional and national governments who will decide on major infrastructure plans over the coming years.”

While the 30-member independent International Energy Agency estimates that 2017 investments in renewable electricity amounted to $242 billion, said the UN chief, that was still far less than the funds invested in new fossil fuel development.

Billions of dollars more needs to be invested in renewables if we are to see a “full-scale transition to clean energy” by 2020, said Mr. Guterres.

“We must use all our resources to build a sense of urgency, to raise ambition, while keeping temperature rises in the years ahead, as close to 1.5 degrees Celsius as possible.”

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