RIGA - The current energy crisis caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine is another wake-up call to accelerate the transition to renewable energy, President Egils Levits said at 2022 UN Climate Change Conference in Sharm El Sheikh on Tuesday.
The impact of climate change is felt all over the world, for example, more frequent droughts have caused famine in Somalia, while melting glaciers in Pakistan have flooded a third of the country, said Levits.
On the other hand, extreme temperatures cause extensive forest fires from Greece to Australia and the United States, while in Latvia, climate change is reducing biodiversity, the president said. The situation is exacerbated by Russia's illegal war in Ukraine, which affects security of food and energy supplies and diverts attention and resources from climate action.
"It is our responsibility to protect and strengthen communities that are the most vulnerable to and the least responsible for climate change," emphasized Levits.
In Levits' opinion, green solutions not only contribute to efforts to reduce climate change, but also ensure greater security of energy supply. Latvia is diversifying its energy sources and is planning to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, said Levits.
"Latvia is committed to achieving the European Union's goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030. Two Latvian cities - Riga and Liepaja - wish to be among the first 100 climate-neutral cities in Europe by 2030," said the president.
According to Levits, effective climate change management requires close cooperation between governments, businesses, scientists and civil society.