UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged countries on Thursday to stop financing for coal and commit not to build new coal-fired power plants to enable a shift to clean energy.
“Coal has no place in COVID-19 recovery plans,” Guterres said, speaking via videolink to a clean energy transition summit hosted by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
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He said the business case for renewables was better than coal in nearly every market and that green jobs and sustainable growth are both crucial in economic recovery packages amid the coronavirus pandemic.
China, the world’s biggest coal producer, said it was committed to a clean and efficient low-carbon development of the energy sector.
“We are going to make great efforts to develop hydro, wind and solar,” Zhang Jinhua, director of China’s National Energy Administration, told the virtual meeting.
The IEA’S Clean Energy Transition Summit convened 40 ministers from countries representing 80 percent of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. They discussed measures to boost economies, reduce emissions and make energy systems more resilient to climate change.