Guterres calls for an end on coal plants

By Monitoring Desk
Sunday – May 19, 2019
PORT VILA (Vanuatu): United Nations (UN) secretary general António Guterres, at the end of his visit to the Pacific on Saturday, demanded to put a stop on building new coal plants by 2020 and held, “We need a green economy not a grey economy.”

According to an official statement, he demanded that the world leaders must shift taxes from salaries to carbon and added, “We need to tax pollution, not people.”

Guterres stressed, “We must stop subsidising fossil fuels” adding “Taxpayer money should not be used to boost hurricanes, spread drought and heatwaves, melt glaciers and bleach corals.”

Over the past week, UN secretary general added, I have witnessed first-hand the impacts of climate change in the Pacific Island States.

They contribute very little to the global climate emergency and yet, they are the ones that are being most affected. For some of them, climate change is now an existential threat.

The risks are all too real.

Entire villages are being relocated, livelihoods are being destroyed, people are getting sick from climate-related diseases, and in Tuvalu I saw an entire country fighting to preserve its very existence.

What is remarkable about these countries is that while facing this enormous challenge, they have decided that they are not giving up. They are determined to find solutions and have developed ways to increase their resilience and adaptation.

Not only that, but they are leading the way in reducing emissions and are an example that the rest of the world should follow.

Their voice is loud and clear: climate change cannot be stopped by the small island countries alone, it has to be stopped by the rest of the world.

“We must understand that the battle against climate change requires the political will for transformational policies in energy, mobility, industry and agriculture,” Guterres asserted.

He concluded, “What we ask for is not solidarity, it’s not generosity, it is enlightened self-interest from all decision-makers around the world because it’s not only of the Pacific that is at stake, it’s the whole planet” adding “To save the Pacific is to save the whole planet.”