The Strategist

UN Secretary General calls to phase out coal

05/31/2021 - 03:53

UN Secretary-General António Guterres, speaking at the International Financial Forum in Beijing, called on world leaders to abandon investments in the coal industry, Bloomberg reported.

According to him, investment should be made in renewable energy sources, which would lead to phasing out the use of coal. Guterres recalled that South Korea had pledged to stop financing coal-fired plants abroad, and expressed the hope that G7 countries and other leaders would follow suit.

Last week, at a meeting of environment, climate and climate ministers, G7 countries said they were ready to stop using coal in line with the targets in the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

However, in the communiqué from the meeting, the decision turned out to be less stringent. Only public investments in coal projects have so far fallen under restrictions.

Forecasts for this year show that coal consumption among the three biggest consumers will only increase. For example, US power plants will show a 16 per cent increase, while China, despite promises to reduce usage in the future, is set to burn a record amount of the fuel.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) had earlier warned that carbon dioxide emissions would rise by almost five per cent this year, the second biggest increase in history. The main contributor to the growth will be an increase in coal consumption.