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UN chief calls for action toward affordable, clean energy

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-06-22 10:15
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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. [Photo/Agencies]

UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday called on all stakeholders to ramp up action toward Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) -- affordable and clean energy.

"We are running far behind in the race against time to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 7 by 2030, and net-zero emissions by mid-century. Achieving universal energy access is crucial for delivering on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development," he said in a video message to the opening of the Ministerial Thematic Forums of the High-level Dialogue on Energy.

"The milestones are clear: by 2030, we must cut global emissions by 45 percent compared to 2010; and then continue to net-zero by 2050. We need to speed up -- dramatically."

He called on every country, city, financial institution and company to raise ambition and submit "Energy Compacts" to achieve SDG7 and net-zero emissions.

To achieve SDG7 and net-zero emissions, there is a need to: achieve universal access to electricity for the 760 million people who currently go without; ensure clean cooking solutions for the 2.6 billion people still relying on harmful fuels; rapidly scale up renewables; end coal use by 2040 globally; phase out fossil fuel subsidies and re-direct funds toward a just, inclusive energy transition; accelerate improvements in energy efficiency; create green jobs; triple clean energy investment; and ensure a just and inclusive energy transition to leave no one behind, he said.

Developed countries must honor their long-standing promise to provide 100 billion US dollars annually for climate action in developing countries, he added.

"The High-level Dialogue on Energy is a critical milestone toward the United Nations Climate Conference, COP26, in November. As we strive to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we have an opportunity to chart a sustainable future," said Guterres.

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