In a diatribe against fossil fuel firms on Thursday, the chief of the UN said that they were abandoning future generations and sabotaging attempts to phase out a substance that was “incompatible with human survival.”
Additionally, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres rejected claims made by certain oil executives, notably the man chosen to lead this year’s global climate negotiations in Dubai, that fossil fuel companies can maintain production provided they figure out a mechanism to trap greenhouse gas emissions.
They would become “more effective planet-wreckers,” he threatened. The United Nations has done this before.
Chief has criticized Big Oil for its part in creating global warming, but the direct criticism reflects rising resentment over the industry’s recent economic boom despite scientific warnings that burning fossil fuels will cause global warming.
Following a meeting with civil society organizations, Guterres stated that the oil and gas business “reaped a record $4 trillion windfall in net income last year.”
“Yet for every dollar it spends on oil and gas drilling and exploration, only 4 cents went to clean energy and carbon capture—combined.”
“Trading the future for thirty pieces of silver is immoral,” he declared.
The sector was urged by Guterres to present a convincing strategy for switching to renewable energy “and away from a product incompatible with human survival.’
Instead, investing their enormous earnings on renewable energy would enable the sector “to survive the transition and remain very important and relevant actors in the world economy,” he added.
Recently, fossil fuel firms have promoted the concept that they should be permitted to continue extracting oil and gas from the ground as long as they reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the process.
Experts reject this proposal as being too complex and expensive to achieve the urgent greenhouse gas reductions required.
In response to recent remarks made by Sultan al-Jaber, the representative of the United Arab Emirates who will take over as the next U.N. secretary-general, Guterres remarked, “The problem is not merely fossil fuel emissions
conference on climate.
It’s fossil fuels, plain and simple.
Environmentalists and Western parliamentarians have criticized Al-Jaber for his tight links to the fossil fuel business.
Al-Jaber is also the UAE’s minister of industry and the CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.
The most polluting fossil fuel, coal, should be phased out by wealthier countries by the year 2030, and others should follow suit a decade later, he said.
He said that governments should stop licensing or supporting new oil and gas projects, move subsidies from fossil fuels to sustainable energy initiatives, and put a price on carbon emissions.
In addition to urging those who were already funding fossil fuel projects to continue doing so, Guterres urged financial institutions to “not (to) relent in the face of attacks on progress.” You’re acting ethically, he said. “Go ahead.”