UN Secretary-General calls for an advertising boycott of the fossil fuel industry

Alarming climate reports show the need for drastic measures, according to UN Secretary-General António Guterres. On Wednesday, he called for an advertising and financial boycott of industries that make profits from fossil fuels such as gas, oil and coal.

(Screenshot: YouTube.com/Sky News)

Governments should ban advertising by the industry, similar to tobacco advertising. PR agencies should no longer accept contracts from such companies and let existing contracts expire, Guterres said in a speech at the American Museum of Natural History in New York as part of World Environment Day. Financial institutions should invest in renewable energies instead. He called companies in the fossil fuel industry "godfathers of climate chaos".

They had blocked progress towards climate-friendly energy for decades. "Billions of dollars have been spent on distorting the truth, deceiving the public and sowing doubt," said Guterres. At the same time, such companies have made record profits with trillions in subsidies from taxpayers' money. It was high time to impose a special tax on these profits in order to finance climate protection projects.

Guterres also suggested the introduction of levies on shipping, aviation and the fuel industry in order to have more money for the transformation to sustainable energy in poorer countries. The leading industrialized and emerging countries (G20), which produce 80 percent of global climate-damaging emissions, would have to do the most and provide poorer countries with both technologies and financial aid. (SDA/swi)

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