In reaction to the latest World Meteorological Organization (WMO) report — which showed that greenhouse gas concentrations, sea level rise, ocean heat levels and acidification set new records during 2021 — the UN chief, António Guterres, proposed five critical actions to jump-start the energy transition, which he called the “peace project of the 21st century”.
Guterres highlighted that renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar are readily available and in most cases, cheaper than coal and other fossil fuels.
“The good news is that the lifeline is right in front of us,” says UN Secretary-General. We now need to put them to work, urgently, at scale and speed:
- 1. Treating renewable energy technologies as essential global public goods
This means removing obstacles to knowledge sharing and technological transfer, including intellectual property constraints. Mr. Guterres called for a new global coalition on battery storage led by governments and bringing together tech companies, manufacturers and financiers to fast-track innovation and deployment.
- 2. Secure, scale-up and diversify the supply components and raw materials for renewable energy technologies
Supply chains for renewable energy technology and raw materials are concentrated in a handful of countries, and more international coordination is needed to overcome this obstacle.
- 3. Build frameworks and reform fossil fuel bureaucracies
The UN chief is calling for governments to fast-track and streamline approvals of solar and wind projects, modernize grids and set ambitious renewable energy targets that provide certainty to investors, developers, consumers and producers.
- 4. Shift subsidies away from fossil fuels
Each year, governments around the world pour around half a trillion dollars into artificially lowering the price of fossil fuels – more than triple the subsidies given to renewables.
- 5. Private and public investments in renewable energy must triple
The UN chief is calling for and adjustment to risk frameworks and more flexibility to scale up renewable finance.
Source: United Nations