UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon called on Tuesday for the "elimination of fossil fuel subsidies" to speed up the move to clean energy for the sake of the planet.
Speaking at the annual UN climate conference in Marrakesh in Morocco, he said more needed to be done to fight global warming caused by fossil fuel emissions, both by governments and by the private sector.
At the conference nearly 200 countries sought ways to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions. In his speech, Ki-moon called on developed countries to honour their financial commitments in the fight against climate change and to help developing countries to deal with and adapt to climate change. The commitment to which he referred totals 100 billion USD by 2020.
“The Paris Agreement is one of the most complex and ambitious and far-reaching visions ever reached by the United Nations, by the international community,” he said, noting that it had entered into force years ahead of expectations and now had been ratified by 109 countries, accounting for more than 75 percent of greenhouse‑gas emissions.
Noting that last year was the warmest year on record, he said that it was crucial to limit warming this century to well below 2 degrees Celcius and that this meant that global emissions must peak by 2020 and drop quickly thereafter.
“I strongly urge all countries to increase the mitigation ambition of their national climate plans by 2018. The private sector must also do much more. And I call for the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies to accelerate the transition to clean energy, we have no right to gamble with the fate of future generations – or imperil the survival of other species that share our planet.” he said.
Noting that this would be his last UN climate conference asn UN secretary-general, Ki-moon said: “I leave you with the strong hope that we will have the courage, tenacity and wisdom to live up to our responsibility to future generations by protecting our only home: this beautiful planet Earth.”
James Archibald / Cape Town – DHA