Berlin The head of the UN warned on Monday that countries seeking to replace Russian oil, gas and coal supplies with any available alternative could trigger a “mutually certain catastrophe” for the world through climate change.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said a “top-up” strategy was now being pursued to eliminate imports of fossil fuels from Russia.It could dampen hopes of keeping global warming below dangerous levels.
“Countries may be so consumed by the fossil fuel supply gap that they ignore or kneel down policies to reduce fossil fuel consumption,” he said at an event organized by The Economist Weekly. I said through the video. “It’s insane. Fossil fuel addiction is a mutually certain catastrophe.”
Germany, one of Russia’s largest energy consumers, wants to increase its supply of oil from the Gulf and speed up the construction of terminals to extract liquefied natural gas.
In the United States, White House spokeswoman Jane Sackie said earlier this month that the war in Ukraine was “a reason for American oil and gas producers to have more land supplies in their own country.”
“Instead of putting a brake on the decarbonization of the global economy, it’s time to pedal the metal toward the future of renewable energy,” Guterres said.
His comments came as scientists from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change finalized their latest report on the world’s efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The two-week meeting began.
A separate report released last month found that half of humanity was already at serious risk from climate change and that it would rise with every tenth of a degree.
Guterres said the Paris Climate Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) was “on life support” because countries are not doing enough to reduce emissions.
He said temperatures are now about 1.2C higher than before industrialization, and that global emissions need to be reduced by 45% by 2030 to keep the Paris target alive.
But after a pandemic-related decline in 2020, emissions rose sharply again last year.
“If we continue to do more like this, we can say goodbye to 1.5,” he said. “Even 2 degrees can be out of reach. And that would be catastrophic.”
Guterres called on the world’s largest developed and emerging economies to significantly reduce emissions, including rapidly ending their dependence on coal – the most polluting fossil fuels – and stopping private companies from accounting. I continue to support its use.