The U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said renewable energy sources are “the peace plan of the 21st century” and that new funding for fossil fuel exploration is “delusional.”
“New funding for fossil fuel exploration and production infrastructure is delusional. It will only further feed the scourge of war, pollution and climate catastrophe,” he said in a video message to the Austrian World Summit in Vienna.
Guterres explained that the only true path to energy security and a livable planet lies in abandoning fossil fuels, especially coal, and accelerating the renewables-based energy transition.
The U.N. head outlined a strategy that includes a tripling of investments in renewables, moving energy subsidies away from fossil fuels to renewables, and fast-tracking approvals for wind and solar projects.
According to Guterres the energy crisis was exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.
“The war has reinforced an abject lesson: our energy mix is broken. Had we invested massively in renewable energy in the past, we should not be so dramatically at the mercy of the instability of fossil fuel markets now,” Guterres said.
With Russia being a top oil and gas producer and exporter and high global energy prices, a number of major economies are struggling to reduce their need for fossil fuels. Guterres, however, called on countries to act now.
“The window to prevent the worst impacts of the climate crisis is closing fast,” he warned.