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The global rush to secure new funding for exploration and production of fossil fuels in the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine is “delusional,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Tuesday.
Many countries, including economies in Europe with net-zero by 2050 goals, announced temporary support for increasing the oil and gas supply after energy prices soared following the war in Ukraine.
This, according to the UN chief, will only have negative effects.
“The energy crisis exacerbated by the war in Ukraine has seen a perilous doubling down on fossil fuels by the major economies,” Guterres told the Austrian World Summit in Vienna in a video cited by CNBC.
“Had we invested massively in renewable energy in the past, we should not be so dramatically at the mercy of the instability of fossil fuel markets now,” Guterres added.
“New funding for fossil fuel exploration and production infrastructure is delusional. It will only further feed the scourge of war, pollution and climate catastrophe,” the UN Secretary-General said.
This is not the first time the UN chief has criticized fossil fuel investment since the beginning of the Russian war in Ukraine.
In March, Guterres said that investment in coal is stupid, and investment in the expansion of fossil fuel production must be stopped.
Last month, the UN Secretary-General said that fossil fuels are a dead end and the only sustainable future for the planet is accelerating the energy transition.
“The key to tackling this crisis is to end our reliance on energy generated from fossil fuels - the main cause of climate change,” the UN said in the State of the Global Climate 2021 report, which showed that four key climate change indicators set new records last year.
Commenting on the report, Guterres said in May, “Fossil fuels are a dead end — environmentally and economically. The war in Ukraine and its immediate effects on energy prices is yet another wake-up call. The only sustainable future is a renewable one. We must end fossil fuel pollution and accelerate the renewable energy transition, before we incinerate our only home.”
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.