UN chief: Don’t ‘throw away’ stimulus cash on fossil fuels

Vienna, September 17

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres known as Thursday on governments to not “throw away” financial stimulus funds by supporting fossil gas industries that contribute to world warming.

Speaking at a digital convention on local weather change, Guterres famous that international locations have “a choice of two paths” as they mobilise trillions of {dollars} of taxpayers’ cash for financial restoration within the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We can either throw away money on the fossil fuels of the past. That is the road to more pollution,” he stated.

“Or we can invest in the technologies of the future, renewable energy, nature-based solutions, sustainable transport and green technologies.”

“Only one of these paths is rational,” he stated.

The UN chief famous that giant buyers are already pulling their cash out of closely polluting industries, particularly coal.

“Without taxpayer subsidies they are bankrupt enterprises,” he stated, claiming that constructing new renewable power crops is already cheaper than persevering with to function nearly two-fifths of the world’s present coal-fired crops.

Several international locations, together with coal-reliant Germany, have just lately agreed to part out the usage of coal for electrical energy due to the huge quantities of carbon dioxide produced from burning it.

In the United States, quite a few coal-fired energy crops have been shut down lately since 2010 and not one of the nation’s power firms are constructing a brand new one, regardless of US President Donald Trump’s said assist for the coal trade.

Guterres’ enchantment to governments to cease subsidizing fossil gas firms was echoed by actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who helped organise the Austrian World Summit in Vienna.

“When you hear that government plans to spend stimulus money bailing out fossil fuels, we must ask ourselves: if investors aren’t supporting those declining companies, why should taxpayers?,” Schwarzenegger stated by video hyperlink from Los Angeles.  

“Governments must realize what the smart money knows instinctively: don’t invest in the past.”

Efficient makes use of of cash would come with making buildings extra energy-efficient and weatherproof, putting in energy-efficiency home equipment, vehicles utilizing different fuels, and planting bushes, he stated.

Since leaving political workplace in 2011, the Austrian-American actor has devoted time to environmental causes. A Republican, he has sparred with President Trump over local weather points.

The assembly additionally heard a video enchantment from Ugandan local weather activist Vanessa Nakate, who known as for the necessity to protect the Congo rainforest from destruction.

“Use your voice to speak about the Congo rainforest, because millions of people heavily depend on its existence,” she stated.

Jane Goodall, the pioneering conservationist, cited the pandemic as a warning for what can occur when people deal with the atmosphere with disregard.

“To a large extent we brought this (pandemic) on ourselves, by our disrespecting nature and disrespecting animals,” she stated. “We’ve created conditions which make it easy for pathogens to jump from an animal to a person.”

“We need to rethink our relationship with the natural world,” Goodall added. “We need to get together to somehow develop a new green economy and perhaps we need to think of a new definition of what it means to be successful in this life.” AP

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