U.N. chief warns about climate change harm from nations trying to replace Russian oil and gas supply
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is making climate change worse as countries grapple with how to replace Russian oil and gas supply
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the problem of climate change “is getting worse” amid Russia’s invasion into Ukraine.
Driving the news: As the conflict disrupts the supply chain in Europe, countries are racing to replenish their oil and gas supply source, according to CBS News.
- “Countries could become so consumed by the immediate fossil fuel supply gap that they neglect or knee-cap policies to cut fossil fuel use,” Guterres said in a video event organized by The Economist. “This is madness. Addiction to fossil fuels is mutually assured destruction.”
The bigger picture: This was his first climate-related speech since the U.N.’s Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November 2021. According to CNBC News, he noted that there were significant developments in cutting methane emissions and tackling deforestation, but a lot is yet to be done.
- He noted that while COP26 had seen positive developments related to issues such as cutting methane emissions, tackling deforestation and mobilizing private finance, significant challenges remained.
What he said: “According to present national commitments, global emissions are set to increase by almost 14% in the 2020s,” Guterres said.
- “Last year alone, global energy-related CO2 emissions grew by 6% to their highest levels in history. Coal emissions have surged to record highs. We are sleepwalking to climate catastrophe.”
- “This is madness. Addiction to fossil fuels is mutually assured destruction,” he said, adding that countries need to “accelerate the phase out of coal and all fossil fuels,” while implementing a rapid energy transition, according to BBC News.