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U.N. Chief António Guterres Calls for End to Advertising for Fossil Fuels

HeadlineJun 06, 2024

Here in New York, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres gave a major speech on the climate crisis Wednesday, as data confirmed last month was the hottest May on record, putting the Earth on a 12-month streak of record-breaking temperatures. Speaking from the American Museum of Natural History, Guterres said the world “needs an exit ramp off the highway to climate hell” and called for a global ban on fossil fuel advertising.

Secretary-General António Guterres: “We must directly confront those in the fossil fuel industry who have shown relentless zeal for obstructing progress over decades. Billions of dollars have been thrown at distorting the truth, deceiving the public and sowing doubts. … Many in the fossil fuel industry have shamelessly greenwashed, even as they have sought to delay climate action with lobbying, legal threats and massive ad campaigns. And they have been aided and abetted by advertising and PR companies.”

The World Meteorological Organization said on Wednesday there is an 80% chance the average global temperature will exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels for at least one of the next five years. But Guterres says that the world can still meet the 1.5-degree target if governments drastically speed up the phaseout of fossil fuels.

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