While speaking to young Māoris and people of the Pacific islands in New Zealand, the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres highlighted four key measures that Governments should follow and prioritize to achieve the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.
UN Secretary General commented
Nature does not negotiate. It’s very good to see youth in the frontline.
Thus, he called Governments to make the changes below:
- Tax pollution, not people
The UN chief called for an emphasis to be placed on taxes on carbon emissions, known as ‘carbon pricing’, instead of being placed on salaries.
- Stop subsidizing fossil fuels
He noted that taxpayer money should not be used to increase the frequency of hurricanes, the spread of drought and heatwaves, the melting of glaciers and the bleaching of corals.
- Stop building new coal plants by 2020
All plants currently in operation are committing the world to around 190 giga tonnes of CO2; If all coal power plants, currently under construction, go into operation and run until the end of their technical lifetime, emissions will increase by another 150 giga tonnes, jeopardizing our ability to limit global warming by 2°C as agreed upon in the 2015 Paris Agreement.
- Focus on a green economy not a grey economy
It is very important that around the world young people, civil society and those that in the business community have understood that the green economy is the economy of the future and the grey economy has no future.
He commented that the Governments are afraid of change and are afraid of moving forward, as the cost looks like a barrier to them.
He concluded that youngsters play a crucial role in advancing climate action, on a global scale, and added
The international community, and especially the scientific community, has been very clear that to reach this goal we absolutely need to have carbon neutrality by 2050.