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UN warns of climate impact of race to replace Russian gas

The Secretary General of the UN, António Guterres, warned on Monday of the impact that the race that many countries are undertaking to replace Russian gas and oil imports as soon as possible can have on the climate.

“Countries can become so obsessed with the immediate lack of fossil fuel supply that they neglect or neglect policies to reduce fossil fuel use. This is crazy,” Guterres warned in a video intervention at a forum organized by The Economist.

According to the head of the United Nations, short-term measures to replace Russian oil and gas “can create long-term dependence on fossil fuels” and make it definitively impossible to meet the goals set in the Paris Agreement to combat climate change. climate change.

That great pact sealed in 2015 seeks, among other things, to limit the rise in temperatures to 1.5 degrees with respect to the average of the pre-industrial era (1850-1900), an objective that Guterres considered today to be “in intensive care”.

“Based on current national commitments, global emissions will rise nearly 14 percent over the 2020s. Last year alone, energy-related CO2 emissions grew 6 percent to their highest levels in history. . Emissions from coal have risen to record numbers. We are sleepwalking towards climate catastrophe,” he warned.

The UN secretary general insisted that the responsibility lies above all with the G20 countries, which represent 80 percent of total emissions and that, among other things, continue to use coal for power generation.

“Your support for coal could not only cost the world its climate goals. It is a stupid investment”, insisted Guterres, who stressed the importance of promoting a new energy model that allows limiting global warming and having a more secure supply.

In that sense, he said that the war in Ukraine is once again showing that dependence on fossil fuels puts the world “at the mercy of geopolitical shocks and crises.”

Source: Gestion

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