As the war between Russia and Ukraine raises energy and food costs, “it’s time to put the pedals on metal.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres argued that “people in the private sector funding coal must be asked for clarification,” and “it’s a stupid investment.”
According to Rystad Energy, coal prices have recently skyrocketed to over $ 420 per metric ton, reaching their highest level in 200 years, but have since fallen to $ 334.50 per metric ton. Trade economics.
Guterres, a Portuguese Socialist politician who was formerly President of Socialist International, insisted in his speech to Economists’ Sustainability Week on March 21st.
The Economist is published by the Economist Group, a privately owned organization owned by a small group of wealthy European families, including the Agnelli, Rothschild, Cadbury and Schroeders.
Guterres said the “high reliance on coal” limits the ability of the G20’s large emerging economies to reduce carbon emissions.
He numbered both China and India among those countries. Measured by nominal GDP, China’s economy is the second largest in the world as of 2022, second only to the United States.
Guterres emphasized the United States, saying that developed, private and multilateral development banks must help emerging economies fund their transition from coal. agreement At the Glasgow Climate Conference in November 2021, we worked with China on climate-related issues.
“Fortunately, all G20 governments, including China, Japan and South Korea, have agreed to stop funding coal abroad,” Guterres said. “They now have to do the same urgently at home. By 2030 in OECD countries and by 2040 in all other countries, they will be completely phased out and their coal infrastructure will be decommissioned. It will be dismantled in stages. “
He said private-sector officials funding coal “may sacrifice global climate goals.”
Coal-fired power generation is believed to have reached a record high of 10,350 terawatt hours in 2021. Report From the International Energy Agency (IEA).
“But coal is expected to account for 36% of the world’s electricity mix in 2021, 5% below its peak in 2007,” the IEA report added.
Coal is also essential to the creation of new steel.
About 71% of the world’s steel is produced using blast furnaces, which convert iron ore into its important building materials with the help of coal. The remaining 29% of steel comes from an electric arc furnace that melts iron scrap.
“In 2020, 30 million people were displaced by climate disasters, three times as many as those displaced by war and violence,” Guterres said.
Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) report There were 30 million climate-related migrations in 2020.Still, that number is Really low From the 2010 peak when IDMC reported that 38.3 million people were evacuated due to climate-related disasters.
As physicist Steve Kunin explained in his 2021 book Unsettled, weather-related mortality is about one-eighth that of a century ago.
The total number of such deaths has also dropped dramatically since 1920. As reported by Foundation for Economic Education.
Guterres also commented on the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
“The impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine risks disrupting the world’s food and energy markets and has a significant impact on the world’s climate agenda,” he said.
Food price Record the highest ever In February 2022, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Food Price Index.
Already rising fertilizer prices are also affected by the conflict as Russia plays a central role in much of the world’s fertilizer production.
Oil and gas prices have also skyrocketed, continuing or resuming the upward trend seen in late 2021.
In Europe, where many countries rely on Russia’s energy, whether renewable energy nations should consider mining, drilling and hydraulic fracturing their energy resources, and whether they should maintain or expand their use of nuclear energy. Conflict reignited. ..
Britain’s long-time advocate of the Net Zero policy, Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, recently urged speculation about whether Britain would lift the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, and Britain should “regain control of its energy supply.” Insisted that.
“Rather than importing large dollars from abroad and depositing them into Putin’s bank account, we will make better use of our natural hydrocarbons,” Johnson said in a speech at the Conservative Party’s Spring Convention on March 18. Said.
“That doesn’t mean we’re giving up our motivation for a low-carbon future. We’re going to make big bets not only on big projects, but also on small modular reactors, as well as on nuclear power,” he said. I added.
“As major economies are pursuing’all of the above’strategies to replace Russian fossil fuels, short-term measures create a long-term reliance on fossil fuels and can close windows up to 1.5 degrees. There is a sex, “Guterres said in the Economist Sustainability Week. speech.
“Countries may neglect or kneel on policies to reduce fossil fuel use as fossil fuel supply gaps are imminent. This is crazy.”
“Instead of putting a brake on the decarbonization of the global economy, it’s time to step into metals for the future of renewable energy,” Guteres added later.