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18 Jun, 2022 15:16

Fossil fuel producers have humanity by the throat – UN

The conflict in Ukraine shouldn’t be used to increase dependency on oil and gas, Antonio Guterres says
Fossil fuel producers have humanity by the throat – UN

The climate crisis is humanity’s biggest emergency now, and governments across the globe must “end the age of fossil fuels” to resolve it, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said.

Further sticking to oil, gas and coal “doesn’t make political or economic sense. Yet we seem trapped in a world where fossil fuel producers and financiers have humanity by the throat,” Guterres told the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate Change on Friday.

He compared the behavior of the fossil fuel industry in recent decades to the “scandalous tactics” of tobacco companies in the mid-20th century.

The energy producers have “invested heavily in pseudo-science and public relations – with a false narrative to minimize their responsibility for climate change and undermine ambitious climate policies,” the UN chief insisted.

“Like tobacco interests, fossil fuel interests and their financial accomplices must not escape responsibility,” he added.

Oil, gas and coal will eventually end, while “wind, sun and tides never run out,” Guterres pointed out.

If the world had started investing in renewable energy earlier, it would’ve likely avoided many of the negative economic effects caused by the rise in the prices of fossil fuels due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, he argued.

“So, let’s make sure the war in Ukraine is not used to increase that dependency [on fossil fuels]. Today’s most pressing domestic problems – like inflation and gas prices – are themselves climate and fossil fuel problems,” the UN chief urged.