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U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Photo: EuropaNewswire/Gado/Getty Images

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday implored world leaders to declare states of "climate emergency" until "carbon neutrality is reached," per Reuters.

What he's saying: Speaking at a virtual summit on the fifth anniversary of the Paris climate agreement, Guterres criticized wealthy countries for spending 50% more of their pandemic recovery cash on fossil fuel production and consumption, as opposed to low-carbon energy.

  • “Can anybody still deny that we are facing a dramatic emergency?” Guterres asked.
  • "This is unacceptable. The trillions of dollars needed for COVID recovery is money that we are borrowing from future generations," he continued. "We cannot use these resources to lock in policies that burden future generations with a mountain of debt on a broken planet."

Guterres praised countries that joined the one-day meeting with new goals, and said so far 38 countries have declared climate emergencies.

  • The United Kingdom also announced the end of its support for overseas fossil fuel projects and submitted a new climate plan to the UN, per BBC.

Worth noting: EU leaders on Friday agreed to cut net carbon emissions at least 55% by 2030.

Go deeper

Amy Harder, author of Generate
Jan 19, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Global investments into clean-energy technology reach record high

Reproduced from BloombergNEF; Chart: Axios Visuals

Investments into clean-energy technologies totaled more than $500 billion for the first time ever, according to a BloombergNEF report released Tuesday.

Why it matters: Technologies making energy and other material cleaner needs to expand rapidly if the world is to adequately address climate change in the coming decades.

Read: Pete Buttigieg's opening statement ahead of confirmation hearing

Pete Buttigieg, President Biden's nominee to be secretary of transportation, in December. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/AFP via Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg, President Biden's nominee to lead the Transportation Department, will tell senators he plans to prioritize the health and safety of public transportation systems during the pandemic — and look to infrastructure projects to rebuild the economy — according to a copy of his prepared remarks obtained by Axios.

Driving the news: Buttigieg will testify at 10 a.m. ET before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. He is expected to face a relatively smooth confirmation process, though GOP lawmakers may press him on "green" elements of Biden's transportation proposals.

Off the Rails

Episode 8: The siege

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 8: The siege. An inside account of the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 that ultimately failed to block the certification of the Electoral College. And, finally, Trump's concession.

On Jan. 6, White House deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger entered the West Wing in the mid-afternoon, shortly after his colleagues' phones had lit up with an emergency curfew alert from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.