Climate: ‘Fossil fuel producers and their accomplices must be held accountable’ – Guterres

“The world bet on fossil fuels and lost,” the UN chief insists, urging greenhouse gas emitting countries not to use the war in Ukraine as an excuse to increase dependence on fossil fuels, and reiterating the urgent need to move away from fossil fuels in order to invest significant funds. in renewable energy sources.

“There is no more imminent danger than the expansion of fossil fuels. Even in the short term, it makes no political or economic sense,” he said. In a very harsh tone, he spoke of the “trap” of the planet, where fossil fuel producers and financiers “hold humanity by the throat.”

The “scandalous tactics” of the fossil fuel industry

The Secretary-General did not spare the fossil fuel industry, which he accused of investing heavily in “pseudo-science” and public relations for decades, crafting a narrative aimed at downplaying their responsibility for climate change in order to undermine ambitious climate targets. politicians.

Manufacturers who used “exactly the same outrageous tactics that the tobacco industry used decades ago,” Mr. Guterres insisted. “Fossil fuel companies and their financial accomplices must be held accountable,” he insisted, adding that the argument for pausing climate action to prioritize domestic policy issues “sounds like empty words.”

Wind power plant in Montenegro.  Clean energy, such as wind power, is key to achieving zero emissions.

Unsplash/Appolinaria Kalashnikova

Wind power plant in Montenegro. Clean energy, such as wind power, is key to achieving zero emissions.

Call for renewable energy

“If we had previously invested massively in renewable energy sources, we would not again be at the mercy of unstable hydrocarbon markets. Let’s make sure that the war in Ukraine does not increase this dependence. Today’s most pressing domestic issues – such as inflation and the price of gas – are in themselves climate and fossil fuel issues,” the UN chief insisted.

Mr. Guterres warned that without bolder initiatives, humanity’s problems will be duplicated and multiplied. The current pattern of endless growth in a world of limited physical resources will indeed lead to a permanent “triple effect” of inflation, climate chaos and conflict, he warned.

United Nations Five Point Plan

For the Secretary-General, the solution is to invest heavily in renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.

“We have endless resources to meet our energy needs: wind, sun and tides never run dry,” he noted, saying these renewables are “already cheaper” than fossil fuels and create “three times more work places”. .

“If we can replace limited, polluting fossil fuels with endless renewable resources, we can solve the energy equation. We will be able to ensure stable prices and sustainable economic growth,” Guterres said.

The head of the UN proposed a plan for a rapid transition to renewable energy sources. This plan includes considering renewable technologies as a freely available “global public good”; and triple public and private investment in renewable energy “to achieve at least $4 trillion a year.”