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Shifting to greener economy could create 24 million jobs: UN chief

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-07-17 00:26
A technician installs a photovoltaic panel at a solar power station in Xiaogang village in Youyang Tujia and Miao autonomous county of Southwest China's Chongqing municipality in May. [Photo/IC]

UNITED NATIONS -- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday that shifting to a greener economy could create 24 million jobs globally by 2030.

"Shifting to a greener economy could create 24 million jobs globally by 2030 while safeguarding the 1.2 billion jobs that depend on a stable and healthy environment," the UN chief told the opening ceremony of the Ministerial Segment of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

Noting that rising inequality hinders long-term growth, the secretary-general highlighted the importance of climate action, saying that "global climate action must be advanced in a manner that reduces inequality."

Guterres warned the ministers and other high-ranking officials attending the forum that "climate change is moving faster than we are."

"Greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are at the highest levels in 3-5 million years - and that occurred at a time when Earth's temperature was as much as 3 degrees warmer and sea levels as much as 10-20 meters higher," he said.

"The World Meteorological Organization reports that our planet will record the five warmest years on record from 2015-2019," he added.

"Sea levels are not only rising - they are rising at an accelerated pace. Indeed, some scientists are already predicting that sea level rise could double from what is currently projected by the end of this century," said the secretary-general.

The UN chief called on the international community to "help people acquire 21st century skills as the world transitions from fossil fuels and boost investments in low-carbon, climate-resilient infrastructure that require these kinds of skills."

He further stressed that "we are counting on countries to fully replenish the Green Climate Fund and meet their commitment to mobilize 100 billion U.S. dollars per year from public and private sources for climate action and mitigation and adaptation in developing countries by 2020."

The forum is the main UN platform on sustainable development and it has a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the global level.

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