17 January 2022

More Investment, Faster Transition to Green Economy Key for Keeping 1.5 Degree Temperature Goal Alive, Secretary-General Tells Renewable Energy Agency

(Delayed for technical reasons)

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message to the twelfth session of the Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on 15 January:

I am pleased to take part in this twelfth session of the Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).  I salute your theme: “Energy Transition: From Commitments to Action”.

The High-Level Dialogue on Energy — as well as COP26 [Twenty-sixth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)] — created opportunities for progress.  But promises must be translated into meaningful change in people’s lives.  The International Renewable Energy Agency is well positioned to support countries — especially the most vulnerable — in this effort.  You are creating energy transition pathways to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement.

But we must go even farther and much faster to close the energy access gap and keep the 1.5° goal of the Paris Agreement alive.  This Assembly brings together Ministers of Energy as well as all other vital stakeholders in the energy landscape.  It offers a unique opportunity to shape the global energy discourse and to drive investments towards an inclusive and job-rich recovery, including by investing in re-skilling programmes for the growing green economy.

We know what’s needed.  A tripling of renewable energy capacity this decade.  Phasing out coal in OECD [Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development] nations by 2030 and 2040 for the rest of the world.  Putting a price of carbon and ending fossil fuel subsidies.  Ensuring support for a just transition.

That’s why I am calling on Governments, public and private finance, and the private sector with the technological know-how to form coalitions in support of the energy transition of developing countries.  The technological and financial solutions and tools are all available.  By investing in a renewable energy future, we can support pandemic recovery and build resilient societies and sustainable and inclusive economies.

Let’s keep moving our world from commitments to urgent action for a better future for all.

Thank you.

For information media. Not an official record.