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17 May 2022

Addiction to Fossil Fuels Must End, Secretary-General Tells Sustainable Energy Forum, Stressing Need to Expedite Deployment of Renewables Everywhere

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message for the Sustainable Energy for All Forum, in Kigali, today:

Excellencies, Dear Friends,

I thank the Government of Rwanda for hosting the first Sustainable Energy for All Forum in Africa.

Closing the energy access gap and ending energy poverty is crucial to delivering on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  It is also fundamental to tackling the climate crisis.

To limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, we need to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy and transform energy production.  In many countries, solar and wind are already the cheapest source of energy.  And the renewable energy sector generates three times as many jobs as the fossil fuel sector.

We need to shift to sustainable energy systems — everywhere.  The addiction to fossil fuels must end, starting with coal, by 2030 in Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, and 2040 everywhere else.

And we must leave no one behind.  Developed countries must honour their promise to provide $100 billion a year for climate action in developing countries.  Development banks must support countries as they transition their economies, invest in retraining and social safety nets.  And private finance must stop funding fossil fuels and shift to renewable energies.

Every country, city, company and organization should set ambitious renewable energy targets and present their implementation plans for clean and affordable energy through ambitious “Energy Compacts”.

Together, let us pursue an agenda that is good for both people and planet, and build a sustainable, just and equitable energy future for all.

Thank you.

For information media. Not an official record.