UN chief slams fossil fuel industry expansion in Davos speech


The UN secretary-general said fossil fuel producers and their financial backers “are fully aware that their business model is inconsistent with human survival and are racing to expand production.” I am accusing.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday, Antonio Guterres said commitments to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels are “going up in smoke”.

“We’re playing around with climate disaster. Every week brings us a new climate horror story,” he said.

Mr. Guterres pointed to the responsibility of the fossil fuel industry head-on as he addressed a crowd in Davos of billionaires, politicians and business leaders, including senior officials from the world’s largest oil and gas companies.

“Last week we learned that certain fossil fuel producers were fully aware that their core products were burning the planet back in the 1970s.” I have been publicly lobbying against volatility measures for years.

“Like the tobacco industry, they were roughing up their science. Big Oil lied big. Like the tobacco industry, those responsible must be held accountable.” ‘” Guterres said at the conference.

It’s unclear if ExxonMobil has a representative in Davos. No one was on the official attendee list, and the company did not respond to a request for comment.

In a statement to CNN last week about the analysis, company spokesperson Todd Spitler said: Exxon knew it was wrong. ”

The World Economic Forum has made climate one of the themes of this year’s meeting in a Swiss mountain resort, with numerous panel discussions devoted to topics such as the energy transition and sustainability.

But Guterres warns that many companies base their climate targets on “questionable or vague” criteria.

“This misleads consumers, investors and regulators with false statements. It feeds a culture of climate misinformation and confusion, which leaves the door wide open for greenwashing.” he said.

Dozens of banks and financial institutions with net-zero pledges are still pouring money into fossil fuels, according to a new report released Tuesday by campaign group Reclaim Finance.

The report agrees to align investment with the ambition to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, a key agreement reached at the 2021 COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, and for the net zero agreement. financial institutions that have signed up to the Glasgow Financial Union. But it turns out that since the signing, member states have invested hundreds of billions of dollars in fossil fuels.

Guterres called on companies to “develop a credible and transparent transition plan on how to achieve net zero” by the end of 2023.

As the Davos conference continues, a group of international climate activists including Uganda’s Vanessa Nakate, Sweden’s Greta Thunberg, Ecuador’s Helena Gueringa and Germany’s Luisa Neubauer have called on fossil fuel CEOs to ‘stop and scrap’. filed a petition for Stop opening new oil, gas, or coal pits immediately and stop impeding the transition to clean energy. The petition has 800,000 signatures and the number continues to rise.

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