By Janet Ekstract
ISTANBUL- This week, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sounded the alarm for major industrial giants when he said that more fossil fuel investment is “delusional,” calling on the U.S. and China to ramp up their climate agendas.
Guterres reiterated that the fossil fuel industry should use it’s massive resources “to drive, not obstruct.” He added that currently the major industries aren’t “even reaching the very low emissions reductions targets it has set for itself.”
The U.N. chief is calling on fossil fuel companies to present credible, comprehensive and detailed new transition plans that would include reducing emîssions, “up and down the value chain.” That means production to refining, distribution and use. Guterres made his sharpest criticism yet when he said “Fossil fuel companies must also cease and desist influence peddling and legal threats” that halt progress on the climate front. In addition, Guterres called on financial institutions to present detailed plans on how industry can place it’s priority on climate action.
The secretary-general’s sticking point is coal which he has made clear must eventually be entirely phased out. Guterres proposes investing in the “just transition” in the developing world. As Guterres concluded: “Financial institutions everywhere must end lending, underwriting and investments in coal anywhere – including new coal infrastructure, power plants and mines.”