‘Close Door on Fossil Fuel Era’, Urges Secretary-General in Message for International Clean Energy Day

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message for the International Day of Clean Energy, observed on 26 January:

Clean energy is the gift that keeps giving:  It can purify polluted air; meet growing energy demand; secure supplies; and connect billion of people to affordable power — helping to ensure electricity access to all by 2030.

That is all while saving money and saving the planet.

A fair, just, equitable and urgent transition from dirty fossil fuels to clean energy is essential to avoid the worst of climate chaos and spur sustainable development.

So, I celebrate this first International Day of Clean Energy; I applaud the work of the International Renewable Energy Agency; and I welcome the call made by countries at COP28 [twenty-eighth Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030.

It is my firm belief that fossil fuel phase-out is not only necessary, it is inevitable.

But we need Governments to act, to accelerate the transition, with the biggest emitters leading the way.

That means unleashing a surge in climate finance — particularly Governments reforming the business model of multilateral development banks so that affordable finance flows.

It means countries creating new national climate plans by 2025 that map a fair and just transition to clean power.

And it means Governments closing the door on the fossil fuel era — with justice and equity.

Our clean energy future is unstoppable. Together, let’s bring it into being faster.

Thank you.

For information media. Not an official record.