UN Chief urges leaders to choose clean energy

Geneva: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday appealed to all leaders to opt for clean energy, citing three vital reasons – Health, Science and Economics.
During the virtual International Clean Energy Transition Summit, Guterres called on the various stakeholders to invest in renewable energy, describing it as a reliable, clean and economically smart option.
Describing the continued dependence on fossil fuels as a big health hazard, the UN Secretary General pointed out that worldwide, outdoor air pollution was causing nearly nine million premature deaths per year and shortening human life spans by an average of three years.
”This is a bigger toll on life expectancy than tobacco smoking,” he added in a video message.
Taking the scientific view of the situation, the UN Secretary-General said there was growing and irrefutable evidence that the increasing reliance on fossil fuels was taking it’s toll on climate disruption.
Guterres said economically also, this made sense.
“Per kilowatt hour, solar energy is now cheaper than coal in most countries. If we had any doubt about the direction the wind is blowing, the real economy is showing us. The business case for renewable energy is now better than coal in virtually every market,” the UN Secretary-General noted.
Guterres called on the global community ”to stop wasting money on fossil fuel subsidies and place a price on carbon. We need to consider climate risk in our decision making. Every financial decision must take account of environmental and social impacts”.
”This is more important than ever in the coming months as companies, investors and countries make big financial decisions about the future. Renewable energy is the only energy source expected to grow in 2020. Solar auctions have seen popularity amidst the height of the pandemic,” he added.