The Fort Worth Press - Climate-stricken world needs renewables Marshall Plan: UN chief

USD -
AED 3.672965
AFN 71.770291
ALL 92.547357
AMD 387.332869
ANG 1.800986
AOA 848.358962
ARS 890.745987
AUD 1.505459
AWG 1.8025
AZN 1.702255
BAM 1.802763
BBD 2.017698
BDT 117.21004
BGN 1.80453
BHD 0.376945
BIF 2868.414988
BMD 1
BND 1.349311
BOB 6.904847
BRL 5.171302
BSD 0.999309
BTN 83.056998
BWP 13.576992
BYN 3.270314
BYR 19600
BZD 2.014288
CAD 1.365845
CDF 2809.999894
CHF 0.914202
CLF 0.032842
CLP 906.220195
CNY 7.242036
CNH 7.258875
COP 3864.74
CRC 512.328893
CUC 1
CUP 26.5
CVE 101.639374
CZK 22.763298
DJF 177.923215
DKK 6.875949
DOP 58.846845
DZD 134.501318
EGP 47.110303
ERN 15
ETB 57.41697
EUR 0.92145
FJD 2.228197
FKP 0.796099
GBP 0.78475
GEL 2.710115
GGP 0.796099
GHS 14.538868
GIP 0.796099
GMD 67.775035
GNF 8590.127667
GTQ 7.762328
GYD 209.063633
HKD 7.80735
HNL 24.694658
HRK 6.979956
HTG 132.857077
HUF 354.519498
IDR 16086.2
ILS 3.676545
IMP 0.796099
INR 83.087797
IQD 1308.980634
IRR 42074.999854
ISK 138.130276
JEP 0.796099
JMD 156.390284
JOD 0.708904
JPY 156.924986
KES 132.999575
KGS 87.955698
KHR 4076.139558
KMF 455.650221
KPW 899.999697
KRW 1363.609723
KWD 0.30691
KYD 0.832711
KZT 442.579432
LAK 21388.210352
LBP 89486.380606
LKR 299.350141
LRD 193.574997
LSL 18.479865
LTL 2.95274
LVL 0.60489
LYD 4.842144
MAD 9.96737
MDL 17.727796
MGA 4428.261972
MKD 56.721411
MMK 2098.538969
MNT 3449.999773
MOP 8.041331
MRU 39.740151
MUR 46.108899
MVR 15.460355
MWK 1732.589759
MXN 16.69031
MYR 4.701353
MZN 63.49719
NAD 18.480219
NGN 1475.96001
NIO 36.779278
NOK 10.548685
NPR 132.892105
NZD 1.629555
OMR 0.384854
PAB 0.999272
PEN 3.735678
PGK 3.883486
PHP 58.202502
PKR 277.991612
PLN 3.920074
PYG 7516.246486
QAR 3.641501
RON 4.585804
RSD 107.942977
RUB 91.62501
RWF 1314.098723
SAR 3.750501
SBD 8.475185
SCR 14.570623
SDG 601.000233
SEK 10.647495
SGD 1.349605
SHP 1.26345
SLE 22.847303
SLL 20969.50094
SOS 571.000219
SRD 32.2745
STD 20697.981008
SVC 8.743744
SYP 2512.529855
SZL 18.372125
THB 36.610479
TJS 10.771968
TMT 3.51
TND 3.11875
TOP 2.36255
TRY 32.178905
TTD 6.785941
TWD 32.145502
TZS 2600.00023
UAH 40.109693
UGX 3802.246321
UYU 38.456752
UZS 12703.533522
VEF 3622552.534434
VES 36.500745
VND 25455
VUV 118.72199
WST 2.803093
XAF 604.652256
XAG 0.032462
XAU 0.000427
XCD 2.70255
XDR 0.754851
XOF 604.652256
XPF 110.698121
YER 250.349705
ZAR 18.416098
ZMK 9001.204962
ZMW 26.670968
ZWL 321.999592
  • BCC

    4.6500

    141.11

    +3.3%

  • SCS

    0.1300

    13.18

    +0.99%

  • NGG

    -1.0300

    60.69

    -1.7%

  • BCE

    -0.2200

    33.57

    -0.66%

  • GSK

    -0.0300

    45.12

    -0.07%

  • CMSD

    0.0000

    24.09

    0%

  • JRI

    0.0250

    11.395

    +0.22%

  • CMSC

    0.1200

    24.24

    +0.5%

  • BTI

    -0.1100

    30.62

    -0.36%

  • RELX

    0.5300

    44.69

    +1.19%

  • AZN

    0.3600

    78.54

    +0.46%

  • VOD

    -0.0300

    9.33

    -0.32%

  • RBGPF

    -1.8300

    55.21

    -3.31%

  • RIO

    0.4300

    71.85

    +0.6%

  • BP

    0.3000

    36.72

    +0.82%

  • RYCEF

    0.1020

    5.65

    +1.81%

Climate-stricken world needs renewables Marshall Plan: UN chief
Climate-stricken world needs renewables Marshall Plan: UN chief / Photo: © AFP/File

Climate-stricken world needs renewables Marshall Plan: UN chief

UN chief Antonio Guterres on Wednesday outlined what amounts to a global Marshall Plan for ushering in a world powered by renewable energy rather than coal, gas and oil.

Text size:

To avoid catastrophic climate change, humanity must "end fossil fuel pollution and accelerate the renewable energy transition, before we incinerate our only home," he said in prerecorded remarks timed to coincide with the release of a major UN state-of-climate report.

Renewable technologies should be treated as freely available "global public goods", unconstrained by intellectual property, he said.

One option might be so-called patent pooling, as has been done by major drug companies to speed the delivery of life-saving drugs for HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, noted a senior UN official who asked not to be named.

"The Secretary-General believes that the conversation around intellectual property should happen because we are in a crisis," the UN official said.

"If we have a ready solution, why not relax intellectual property rules so that solution can help us solve this crisis?"

Guterres singled out battery storage, calling for an international coalition of industry, tech companies and financial institutions, led by governments, to "fast-track innovation and deployment".

Solar and wind are the fastest growing clean energy technologies, but storing renewable electricity that can only be generated when the sun is shining or the wind blowing has been a persistent bottleneck for even more rapid rollout.

- Not fast enough -

It was unclear whether Guterres envisions a new oversight body or favours working through existing structures, such as the 86-nation International Solar Alliance or the G20 group of major economies.

The UN chief's five-point plan to "jump-start" a renewables boom also called for scaling-up and diversifying the supply of critical components and raw materials, such as rare Earth metals.

Currently, lithium -- crucial to the manufacture of electric vehicle batteries -- is sourced from a handful of countries, with China controlling 80 percent of global refining, according to BloombergNEF.

Transitioning to clean energy will also require far greater supplies of copper, silicon, nickel, cobalt and other elements that are scarce and/or in high demand.

Europe alone is estimated to need 35 times more lithium than it uses today over the next three decades.

Expanding renewable capacity is forecast to account for almost 95 percent of the increase in global electricity through 2026, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

But projected growth is not nearly fast enough to ensure the Paris Agreement target of capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.

Currently, solar and wind energy only account for eight percent of global electricity generation. Adding hydro and other renewable sources pushes the total up to 30 percent, with coal and gas still dominant overall.

- $11 million -

Guterres also said governments must cut red tape and streamline approvals for solar and wind projects.

The IEA has identified the issuing of permits and grid integration as major barriers to accelerating renewables deployment.

"In Europe, it takes eight years for a wind project to be approved," the UN official said.

"In the United States, I understand that it can take as much as a decade at the federal level alone, where one needs to go through about 28 federal agencies."

The UN Secretary-General also called for an end to approximately half-a-trillion dollars in fossil fuel subsidies, roughly two-thirds of which go to consumers and the rest directly to industry.

"Every minute of every day, coal, oil and gas receive roughly $11 million in subsidies," Guterres said.

"While people suffer from high prices at the pump, the oil and gas industry is raking in billions from a distorted market," he added. "This scandal must stop."

Finally, Guterres challenged private and public finance to scale up investment in solar and wind to at least $4 trillion a year, more than triple current levels.

Development banks and finance institutions should align their lending portfolios with the Paris treaty temperature targets by 2024, he said.

K.Ibarra--TFWP