The UN Secretary General wants to punish the oil lobbies who have “lied” for years about global warming.
On the occasion of the Davos forum, Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General of the United Nations spoke on the ecological question. Very invested in the fight against global warming, he explained that the oil lobbies must be prosecuted “like tobacco companies in the past” after the “big lie” that they propagated.
According to Guterres, some oil producers were fully aware of the dire environmental consequences of their actions. From the 1970s and the first alarmist reports on the state of health of the planet, oil companies decided to do “their own science”, assures Guterres in his speech.
The major oil groups in the sights of the UN
A study published in the famous journal Science this week shows that the oil group ExxonMobil had several reports on global warming. As early as the 1980s, the company knew that rising temperatures were directly linked to human activity and in particular to fossil fuels.
Rather than changing its business model to get ahead of green production methods, Exxon has publicly denied those numbers, casting doubt in the minds of millions. According to Guterres, these actions, with full knowledge of the facts, must state a historic sanction.
Within his speech, he mentions the tobacco companies. They for their part paid a record fine of 246 billion dollars in 1998 to put an end to this affair. Ecological associations have obviously taken up the issue. Hours after Guterres’ speech, the Campaign for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, a civil organization, denounced the ” slow progress by governments to tackle the climate effects of oil giants “.
According to them, this lack of political response to the climate emergency is ” due to the influence of fossil industry lobbyists.As the climate situation worsens day by day, Guterres hopes the situation can improve very soon.
The private sector must take action
In his speech he also returned to the many greenwashing policies that have been very popular in recent years. He criticized the “questionable” and “obscure” policies aimed at “zero carbon” of several large groups. These statements willmislead the consumer, but also analysts and regulators. »
He ended his argument by lecturing the private sector. It cannot remain inactive in the face of the climate emergency. For Guterres the battle to keep warming below 1.5°C will be won or lost during this decade. The latest report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announces that the period 2015-2023 was the hottest ever seen since 1850.