Ban Ki-moon, the ex-United Nations secretary general, stated that global leaders must create jobs within the renewable energy sector to ensure that transition costs from fossil fuels don’t exacerbate economic inequality. This was his statement on Wednesday at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.
“What is absolutely necessary at this time — it is critical now — is for governments to increase their ambition level, not only in clean energy, but creating millions of new green jobs for the people,” Mr. Ban, the U.N. leader from 2007 to 2016, said at the opening of a Times event series running alongside the conference.
“I believe that we need to be more realistic about the winners and losers of globalization,” he said, “and take more decisive action in addressing inequality both within and between countries.”
Leaders in Europe and around the world are concerned about the dangers that a shift toward a greener economy could pose. a backlashThis is especially true if the majority of the cost falls on the working-class and middle classes. Mr. Ban said there was a need to address the risks of the “underlying currents of populist skepticism.”
He urged industrialized nations to keep their promise to donate $100 billion annually to poorer countries in order to address climate change.
“They must be serious, because we have no time to lose,” he said.
Only a portion of the money, which was agreed to by industrialized countries last year, has been distributed.
Last week diplomats from Canada and Germany said they expected the $100 billion to be delivered by 2023Three years late. Experts say the amount is not sufficient to assist poorer countries in coping with the costs of shifting their economies away fossil fuels and the damages caused by extreme weather.
Mr. Ban said that he was disappointed that President Xi Jinping of China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, was not attending COP26He was encouraged by, however. Mr. Xi’s vow in September that China would stop building coal-burning power plantsOther countries
It is time, Mr. Ban said, for China, the United States and other countries to bridge “the gap between rhetoric and commitment.”
“The time for talk,” he said, “is over now.”