UN calls on G20 to abandon coal

Developed and emerging economies should focus on the environment, Secretary-General António Guterres says
UN calls on G20 to abandon coal

On Thursday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres once again called on the world’s advanced economies to eliminate coal infrastructure, citing environmental issues.

“Today, I call on the governments of the G20 countries to dismantle coal infrastructure, completely abandoning it by 2030 in the OECD countries and by 2040 in all others,” Guterres said, while speaking at the Stockholm+50 conference.

He also asked all financial institutions to move away from fossil fuel financing and invest in renewable energy.

According to the UN chief, the natural systems of the Earth are not able to withstand the demands of mankind.

“We are consuming [resources] at a rate of 1.7 planets per year. If global consumption were at the level of the richest countries in the world, we would need more than three planets Earth,” Guterres said.

Poland is running out of coal

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The coal power issue has split the G20 into countries that are ready to phase out fossil fuel and those who defend it. In 2021, the leaders agreed to end international public financing of new coal power by the end of the year, but failed to reach a deal on phasing out coal power or ceasing the production of new coal plants.

In some G20 countries, like the US, China and India, coal remains the largest source of energy. Despite previous pledges to start phasing down coal consumption and achieve net-zero emissions soon, the two nations have lately shifted back to coal-powered fire as global energy security worries have intensified.

Some European countries, including Poland and Germany, may also increase coal-fired generation as they move away from Russian gas.

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