Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message to the opening of the Ministerial Thematic Forums of the High-Level Dialogue on Energy, today:
I am pleased to welcome you to the Ministerial Thematic Forums of the High-Level Dialogue on Energy. I thank the Member State Global Champions for their leadership in co-hosting these gatherings.
These discussions take place at a pivotal moment. We are running far behind in the race against time to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 by 2030, and net-zero emissions by mid-century.
Achieving universal energy access is crucial for delivering on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The milestones are clear: by 2030, we must cut global emissions by 45 per cent compared to 2010; and then continue to net zero by 2050.
We need to speed up — dramatically. That is why I am convening the High-Level Dialogue on Energy on 20 September in New York. I call on every country, city, financial institution and company to raise ambition and submit “Energy Compacts” to achieve SDG7 and net-zero emissions.
To achieve SDG7 and net-zero emissions, we must: achieve universal access to electricity for the 760 million people who currently go without; ensure clean cooking solutions for the 2.6 billion people still relying on harmful fuels; rapidly scale up renewables; end coal by 2030 in OECD [Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development] countries, and by 2040 globally; phase out fossil fuel subsidies and re-direct funds towards a just, inclusive energy transition; accelerate improvements in energy efficiency; create green jobs; triple clean energy investment; and ensure a just and inclusive energy transition to leave no one behind.
Developed countries must honour their long-standing promise to provide $100 billion annually for climate action in developing countries. The High-Level Dialogue on Energy is a critical milestone towards the United Nations Climate Conference, COP26, in November.
As we strive to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we have an opportunity to chart a sustainable future. Your support will be crucial. The United Nations looks forward to working with all stakeholders in this monumental effort.
Thank you for your engagement.