The United Nations chief urged Japan and other wealthy nations to give up their reliance on coal and other fossil fuels and commit to investments in green energy as they recover from the coronavirus pandemic. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made the appeal in an address to an online climate conference hosted by Japan, reported a news agency.
When countries go in different directions, #COVID19 goes in every direction.
As we work together to manage our way out of this crisis, it’s vital to move ahead in a coordinated way, advancing an inclusive health, social & economic response to the pandemic.https://t.co/xQwFpORvui
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) September 4, 2020
Guterres noted that many countries are using the opportunity of the pandemic to double down on green energy and other initiatives, aiming to attain a goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above the pre-industrial average.
2019 was the second hottest year on record.
2020 may rival those temperatures.
Now is the moment to reconsider the economic models that have failed so many & contributed to the climate crisis.https://t.co/WIR67193hk #ClimateAction
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) September 3, 2020
We are facing two critical crises, COVID and climate change,” he said in pre-recorded remarks. He said he hoped the meeting would leave future generations with the hope that this moment is the true turning point for people and the planet.”
A major U.N. Climate Change Conference due to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, this November was postponed due to the pandemic. Dubbed COP26, it is to be held there in early November 2021.
Japan’s Environment Ministry has led an initiative called the Online Platform for Sustainable and Resilient Recovery from COVID-19, or Platform for Redesign 2020.
Its website says it is a hub that collates countries’ climate and other environmental policies and actions that are planned and implemented in the context of recovery from COVID-19.
Guterres noted that Japan’s advanced technology in many fields should make it a leader in shifting to renewable energy and urged it to stop financing construction of coal-fired power plants.