UN chief calls for ‘ending the era of fossil fuels’

The UN secretary-general launched an all-out attack on the fossil fuel industry on Friday, accusing it of holding “humanity by the throat” and calling on leaders of major economies to act to “end the fossil fuel industry.” ‘era of fossil fuels’.

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“A leader’s first duty is to protect people from clear and present dangers. Nothing could be clearer or more present than the danger of fossil fuel expansion,” Antonio Guterres said in a speech to the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF).

This virtual meeting, organized by US President Joe Biden, brings together countries “representing 80% of the world’s GDP, population and greenhouse gas emissions”, according to the White House.

“Even in the short term, fossil fuels make no political or economic sense. Yet we seem trapped in a world where fossil fuel producers and financiers have humanity by the throat,” added the UN chief.

Mr. Guterres accused the fossil industry of having tried for decades to convince leaders and public opinion of its limited responsibility for climate change, and of seeking to “sabotage ambitious climate policies”.

“It exploited the same outrageous tactics as the tobacco industry decades before,” he pointed out.

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

And “let’s make sure that the war in Ukraine is not used to increase this dependence” on fossil fuels, he insisted.

The UN Secretary General ended his speech with an urgent appeal to leaders.

“The climate crisis is our number one emergency,” he said.

“Renewable energy is the peace plan of the 21st century. I am counting on your governments to put an end to the era of fossil fuels. The renewable energy revolution starts now.”


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