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UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for an end to $7 trillion in fossil fuel subsidies, which he called “morally and economically unacceptable.”
In a speech to the UN General Assembly on September 20, 2023, Guterres said that fossil fuel subsidies are “a major obstacle to our efforts to address the climate crisis.” He said that the money spent on fossil fuel subsidies could be better used to fund renewable energy, energy efficiency, and other measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Only world leaders who arrived to the summit with fresh, tangible initiatives will be allowed to address their colleagues on the subject, according to Guterres, who organized it.
If global leaders do not take action now, the planet will warm by 2.8 degrees Celsius, said United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday.
Guterres’ call for an end to fossil fuel subsidies has been echoed by many other world leaders, including US President Joe Biden and former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. However, there is still strong resistance to ending fossil fuel subsidies in some countries, such as China and India.
Fossil fuel subsidies are a major obstacle to climate action. They make fossil fuels cheaper than renewable energy, which discourages investment in renewable energy and slows the transition to a clean energy economy.
“We must make up time lost to foot-dragging, arm-twisting and the naked greed of entrenched interests raking in billions from fossil fuels,” Guterres said.
“The future is not fixed,” he said. “It is for leaders like you to write. We can still limit the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees. We can still build a world of clear air, green jobs, and affordable clean power for all.”
The advantages of eliminating fossil fuel subsidies are numerous. In addition to lowering greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing air quality, it would also save money. Additionally, it would provide jobs in the field of renewable energy.
There are several methods to stop supporting fossil fuels. One strategy is to progressively raise fossil fuel prices until they are no longer being subsidized. Another strategy is to offer tax credits and other rewards to people and businesses who make renewable energy investments.