UN Secretary-General Says Climate Action Shouldn’t Adversely Affect Poor

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres says global climate action shouldn’t come at the expense of developing nations. During the launch of the newly formed Panel on Critical Energy Transition Minerals, Guterres said the race to achieving net-zero carbon emissions shouldn’t “trample over the poor.”

The global transition to renewables will be dependent on critical minerals, the UN official said, and a significant portion of these minerals are located in emerging nations. While the demand for critical minerals is sure to create new employment opportunities, boost revenues and diversify national economies in these nations, Guterres noted that this is contingent on effective management.

Furthermore, he said that leaders must ensure the ongoing green-energy transition “moves us toward justice” and doesn’t affect developing countries adversely. This statement comes amid accelerated efforts to adopt renewables such as wind and solar energy and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

With the cost of producing renewables dropping significantly over the past two decades, major nations such as the United States and China have invested billions of dollars into green-energy technology, including wind turbines, solar panels and battery electric vehicles. Renewables production is reliant on critical minerals such as cobalt and lithium, which are mostly mined in developing nations such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo).

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) predicts that demand for lithium alone will increase by more than 1,500% in the coming years. While surging demand for critical minerals could be a boon for nations such as DR Congo, improper management could make the mineral resources a double-edged sword for these countries and their citizens.

Copper, nickel, cobalt and other “green metals” can also expect similar increases in demand as the transition to renewables speeds up. As Africa hosts more than one-fifth of the globe’s reserves of energy transition metals, exploding demand for critical minerals could be a major boost to the economies of African countries.

However, Guterres believes that developing nations in Africa and elsewhere shouldn’t be relegated to the bottom of the value chain in the burgeoning clean-energy space as basic raw material suppliers. He offered the UN’s full support to the Panel on Critical Energy Transition Minerals as it endeavors to carry out its duties.

South Africa’s Ambassador Nozipho Joyce Mxakato-Diseko and Director-General for Energy Ditte Juul Jørgensen from the European Commission will serve as panel cochairs. Panel members include the European Union, the African Union, nongovernmental organizations, intergovernmental entities and countries such as Botswana, Canada, Egypt, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kazakhstan, Australia, China, the United States, Chile, Columbia, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Indonesia, Nigeria, Zambia and India.

The secretary general’s call to avoid trampling on the poor during the energy transition can in some way be addressed through the affordable ways to generate green energy in decentralized ways as focused on by entities such as Correlate Energy Corp. (OTCQB: CIPI). Such solutions can be a way for poorer communities to also benefit from the energy transition since the initial capital outlay isn’t prohibitive.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Correlate Energy Corp. (OTCQB: CIPI) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CIPI

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