Those who fail to bet on a green economy will be living in a grey future, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warned on Tuesday (12 December). He called for greater ambition by governments, civil society, the private sector and finance partners to help tackle the global climate challenge.
‘Green business is good business’, the UN chief said at the opening of the One Planet Summit in Paris, alongside French President Emmanuel Macron and Jim Yong Kim, the President of World Bank.
‘Renewables are now cheaper than coal-powered energy in dozens of developed and developing countries […] we need to invest in the future, not the past’, he added.
The summit, which took place on the anniversary of the adoption of the historic Paris Agreement, provided an opportunity to fast-forward action on climate change.
’Investing in our own doom’
In his remarks, Mr Guterres pointed to the large under-utilised global financial resources and said we must ensure financing – which by its nature if forward-looking – is used future of people and the planet in addition to being used for profit.
‘It is a fact that fossil fuels remain heavily subsidised – meaning we are investing in our own doom’, he emphasised, noting cities, regions, states and territories across the globe along with thousands of private enterprises – including major oil and gas companies – are already taking climate action, resulting in new industries and markets as well as in healthier environments and more jobs.
‘I have heard it said that the stone age did not end because we ran out of stones. We don’t have to wait to run out of coal and oil to end the age of fossil fuels’, he stated, adding, ‘The message is simple: those who fail to bet on a green economy will be living in a grey future.’