U.N. chief Antonio Guterres on Wednesday called for an end to oil, gas, and coal use in favor of renewable sources as part of a self-described global climate Marshall Plan.
The veteran Portuguese Socialist spoke ahead of the upcoming World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, which has already issued its own call for net-zero carbon emissions to be driven by a wider embrace of solar and wind power sources without delay.
To avoid catastrophic climate change, humanity must “end fossil fuel pollution and accelerate the renewable energy transition, before we incinerate our only home,” Guterres said in his pre-recorded remarks timed to coincide with the release of a major U.N. state-of-climate report, AFP reports.
Renewable technologies should be treated as freely available “global public goods”, unconstrained by intellectual property, he added.
The U.N. Secretary-General also called for an end to approximately half-a-trillion dollars in fossil fuel subsidies, roughly two-thirds of which go to consumers and the rest directly to industry as part of the drive to change consumer habits.
“Every minute of every day, coal, oil and gas receive roughly $11 million in subsidies,” Guterres said.
“While people suffer from high prices at the pump, the oil and gas industry is raking in billions from a distorted market,” he added. “This scandal must stop.”
For its part, the WEF has published a 10-point plan provided by the International Energy Agency (IEA) as a way to end oil dependence as part of its self-declared Great Reset.
It is just one further step in addressing what the WEF has already taken to calling an “existential threat to the planet.”
The plan includes everything from “car free Sundays” to “avoiding air travel” in its advice as seen below :
1. Reduce speed limits on highways by at least 10km/h
Many countries already use temporary speed limit reductions on highways, mostly to reduce congestion and/or air pollution and to improve road safety.
2. Work from home up to 3 days a week where possible
Around one-third of the jobs in advanced economies can be done from home, opening up the possibility of reducing oil demand while maintaining productivity.
3. Car-free Sundays in cities
Car-free Sundays were introduced in countries such as Switzerland, the Netherlands and West Germany during the 1973 oil crisis. Cities in other countries have used them more recently to promote public health.
4. Reduce public transport prices and incentivize walking and cycling
Investment in public transport and infrastructure to support walking and cycling has been boosted by sustainable economic recovery packages introduced in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
5. Alternate private car access to roads in large cities
Restricting private cars’ use of roads in large cities on alternate weekdays is a measure with a long track record of successful implementation around the world.
6. Increase car sharing and adopt practices to reduce fuel use
Governments can provide additional incentives by designating dedicated traffic lanes and parking spots next to public transport hubs and by reducing road tolls on higher occupancy vehicles. Such measures are in force in suburban areas of cities like Madrid and Houston, among others.
7. Promote efficient driving for freight trucks and goods deliveries
Governments can introduce so-called eco-driving techniques as part of the tuition and examination processes required to receive a driving licence and advanced driving certificates, as has been done in France and other countries.
8. Using trains instead of planes where possible
High-speed rail can substantially replace short-haul air travel on routes that offer affordable, reliable and convenient train journeys.
9. Avoid business air travel where alternative options exist
Although not all business travel by plane can be avoided, in many cases the use of virtual meetings can be an effective substitute. A reduction of around two out of every five flights taken for business purposes is feasible in the short term, based on the changes witnessed during the COVID pandemic.
10. Increase adoption of electric and other more efficient vehicles
By the end of 2021, 8.4 million electric cars were on the roads in advanced economies, building on record sales in Europe in particular. Demand for electric cars continues to be strong, on the back of plummeting costs of batteries in recent years and government support.
Already in the U.S. many of those measures have started to be implemented.
As Breitbart News reported, on Monday U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg delivered a plan for billions of dollars to be made available under his department’s new Safe Streets & Roads for All program to cities that get people to ditch their motor vehicles for alternative forms of transport. Forever.
The Biden administration is steering $5 billion in federal aid to localities carving out bike paths and wider sidewalks while pushing commuters onto public transit and cycling as an alternative to driving.
Buttigieg’s aim will be to provide a direct infusion of federal cash to communities that pledge to promote multiple users of a roadway, particularly pedestrians and bicyclists.
The argument is too many people are dying in motor accidents for that method of transport to be sustainable so people must get out of their cars – and be rewarded with taxpayer cash.
Read more about the U.N. climate Marshall Plan here