Former UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon has warned the UK should not return to fracking, as the climate situation worsens.
Now Deputy Chair of The Elders – an independent group of former global leaders and public figures – he has stressed the pressing need for countries to move away from fossil fuels and focus on renewable energy, following the crisis in Ukraine.
“There is no time for us to lose,” he exclaimed, stating that even before the Ukraine war the world was “far behind the pace”.
On the UK’s potential for a return to fracking, he said: “In the UK, there is some idea of releasing the ban on fracking. These are very short term, unproductive ideas. [Fracking has] very short-term gains that will lose the long-term interest of humanity. I hope the politicians have some longer vision for the benefit of the whole world.”
The UK government did clarify earlier this week that fracking was not a likely possibility but it had been discussed following various sanctions imposed on Russian energy companies.
He has also implored Vladimir Putin to stop the war in Ukraine: “He must stop! Whatever grievances he may have and concerns he may have, he can negotiate later rather than killing people.”
Aside from the humanitarian issues of the conflict, Ban Ki-Moon explained his fears that countries are looking to cater for the loss of Russian oil and gas supply by seeking other exports, rather than looking for greener options.
Ki-Moon said nuclear could be the answer to greener futures and emphasised it should definitely be prioritised over any push for oil and gas: “There has been some debate and controversy on whether to use nuclear energy or not – but if we use a good energy mix, with renewable energy, nuclear energy and other clean sources of energy, that’s the way we can meet the target of carbon-neutrality.”