The UN is committed to fighting the climate emergency based on what science tells us. In order to be on a pathway towards the 1.5 degree goal of the Paris agreement global emissions will need to be cut by 45% below 2010 by 2030. Developed countries and those with the capacity and capability must lead the transition to a decarbonized global economy and support developing countries with finance and technology.
As made clear by the Paris Agreement, the transition pathway for each country will be different based on their own unique situation and national circumstances. Reducing emissions and providing access to energy for the 800 million person who lack access to energy must be pursued with equal urgency: both objectives are two sides of the same coin.
As the Secretary-General has repeatedly said, the entire UN is fully committed to a just, fair and equitable transition to renewable energy which is the only way to ensure energy security and access to energy for everyone, everywhere. Gas may play a role in transition on a case by case basis and in very specific cases, provided that governments have clear exit plans in the context of a national strategy to get to net zero in line with the 1.5 degree goal of the Paris Agreement. For example, for some developing countries who have the existing resource and infrastructure, gas will play a major role in their transition to a net zero future. For all others, developing new fossil fuel infrastructure would result in billions of stranded assets and debt for future generations.
Antonio Pedro, Executive Secretary a.i. of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).