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UN chief urges fossil fuel ad ban as heat records pile up

UN chief urges fossil fuel ad ban as heat records pile up


“The Godfathers of climate chaos – the fossil fuel industry – rake in record profits and feast off trillions in taxpayer-funded subsidies,” Guterres said. 

“I urge every country to ban advertising from fossil fuel companies,” he said, likening it to bans on other products harmful to human health like tobacco. 

“We need an exit ramp off the highway to climate hell,” he said as signatories of the Paris Agreement are expected to deliver new emissions targets by early 2025. 

Guterres also repeated calls for taxing the fossil fuel industry profits to finance the fight against global warming, specifically pointing to “solidarity levies on sectors such as shipping, aviation and fossil fuel extraction”. 

“Even if emissions hit zero tomorrow, a recent study found that climate chaos will still cost at least US$38 trillion a year by 2050,” he said. 

That is more than the US$2.4 trillion needed by 2030 for developing countries, excluding China, to get out of fossil fuels and adapt to a warmer planet, as estimated by UN experts.  

Guterres said he made his speech now with concerns that the climate crisis has become “a victim of a diversion of attention” by numerous wars and conflicts. 

Without undermining the need for the conflicts to be resolved, he said: “We cannot let them distract us from what is the existential threat of all times for humankind, and that is climate change.”

It also comes as crucial climate talks get underway in Bonn, Germany to set the stage for the UN COP29 summit in Azerbaijan in November. 

The talks must reach a new agreement on financial aid from rich countries to the rest of the world to achieve their climate goals. 

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