US SECRETARY-GENERAL Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday it would be "stupid" for the world to keep relying on fossil fuels, saying they triggered today's climate emergency.
"If the world, and then particularly if Europe, had invested massively in the past two decades in renewable energy, we will not be facing the energy crisis that we are facing today," Guterres said in an interview with the BBC.
"And the prices of oil and gas would not be as high as they are today," he added in response to a question on the war in Ukraine and its consequence of stimulating some fossil fuel production.
"As we did not invest sufficiently in renewables, we are now paying the price," said Guterres.
He added: "The most stupid thing is to bet on what has led us to this disaster."
With UN climate talks opening early next month in Egypt, the UN chief urged countries to do more to fight global warming.
The UN said in a report released on Wednesday that the world's current climate pledges are far off track to limit temperature rises to 1.5 deg C and will steer a planet already wracked by increasing floods, heatwaves and storms towards catastrophic warming.
Combined commitments from nearly 200 nations put Earth on track to warm around 2.5 deg C compared to pre-industrial levels by the century's end, the report said.
Guterres said "1.5 deg C is still possible. But we are on the verge of losing this possibility." AFP