“New fossil fuel investment is moral and economic madness” – UN sec gen’s final warning

Investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure is moral and economic madness, the UN secretary general said today.

Antonio Guterres was speaking at the launch of the latest landmark climate change report, which said emissions must peak in just three years to keep global warming below 1.5C.

He said fossil fuel investments would soon be stranded assets: “a blot on the landscape, and a blight on investment portfolios”.

His comments come as the UK government prepares to publish its energy security strategy, with a focus on North Sea oil and gas production and pressure from some Conservatives for a new look at onshore fracking.

But Mr Guterres criticised governments and industries that were increasing fossil fuel production.

“Climate activists are sometimes depicted as dangerous radicals”, he said.

“But the truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels.

“Some government and business leaders are saying one thing – but doing another. Simply put, they are lying. And the results will be catastrophic.”

He said high-emitting governments and corporations were not just turning a blind eye; “they are adding fuel to the flames”.

Emissions in the last decade were highest in history, though the rate of growth has slowed.

Today’s report was “a litany of broken climate promises”, Mr Guterres said.

Current energy policies would result in more than double the emissions needed to restrict warming to the internationally agreed level of 1.5C, he said.

But to meet the limit, global emissions must peak by 2025 and be cut by 45% by 2030.

Key findings

The report, authored by 278 scientists and citing 18,000 papers, concluded:

  • Coal must be phased out if the world is to stay within 1.5C
  • Current and planned new fossil fuel infrastructure would cause the world to exceed 1.5C
  • Methane emissions must be reduced by a third by 2030
  • Growing forests and preserving soils will be necessary – but tree-planting cannot do enough to compensate for continued emissions for fossil fuels
  • There have been dramatic declines in the price of solar, wind and batteries
  • All sectors of the global economy must change dramatically and rapidly
  • Behaviour change to diets, living and travel can also reduce emissions

This was the third landmark assessment from the IPCC in the past eight months and the most contentious because it covers policies, technology and finance needed to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The previous two looked at causes and impacts of climate changes. Part 1, in August 2021, warned that the world had only a narrow chance of limiting global heating to 1.5C. The UN secretary general described it as a code red for humanity. Part 2, in February 2022 illustrated the impact of heating of 1.5C.

“Now or never”

Jim Skea, co-chair of IPCC Working Group III, which released the latest report, said:

“It’s now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5C. Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible.”

He said there were the first signs that people’s actions people were starting to make a difference.

“The big message we’ve got [is that] human activities got us into this problem and human agency can actually get us out of it again.”

The IPCC chair, Hoesun Lee, said:

“We are at a crossroads. The decisions we make now can secure a liveable future,”

UK reaction

Rachel Kennerley, international climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth

“Boris Johnson has a golden opportunity to put our collective future front and centre as part of his upcoming energy review. Rolling out renewable energy widescale, alongside a nationwide programme to insulate the UK’s homes, is one of the quickest and cheapest climate solutions. Not only will this help to protect the planet, but can also end our reliance on expensive gas and bring down sky-high bills.”

Mary Church, Friends of the Earth Scotland head of campaigns

“Today’s UN report is another stark warning that the likelihood of avoiding 1.5°C is shrinking fast. Deep emissions cuts are needed now, and the message at the heart of this latest study is that we must say no to all new oil and gas, put an end to fossil fuel subsidies and urgently start delivering a just transition for impacted communities.”

Greenpeace UK

“The report is clear on what the solutions are: Dramatically cut fossil fuel use; cut energy waste; cut meat consumption; turbocharge homegrown renewables and clean transport.”

Stop Climate Chaos

“Government action to reduce emissions immediately and phase out fossil fuels must begin now – not in ten years’ time.”

Nafkote Dabi, climate policy lead at Oxfam

“We need extraordinary cuts in the use of fossil fuels to meet our emissions targets, and that entails a dramatic shift towards sustainable renewable energy. The recent push to increase production of oil, gas and coal and backtrack on climate measures because of the crisis in Ukraine — and even to delay net-zero — is shortsighted folly.”

Fionna Smyth, head of global policy and advocacy at Christian Aid

“The invasion of Ukraine and Russia’s control of European gas usage, has shown the folly of having a global economy reliant on fossil fuels. A shift towards decentralised, clean and ever cheaper renewables would help build a more peaceful world and also tackle the cause of the climate crisis.”

Yolande Wright, global director of poverty and climate change at Save the Children

“Leaders of the richest countries and historical emitters must take responsibility. Without immediate drastic action to curb global emissions, children are burdened with the most dangerous impacts of the climate crisis.”

13 replies »

  1. Hmmmmm….
    How to voice a one sided argument. Don’t have a counter argument!
    Carbon Net Zero is a transition, a slow a progressive phase out… what’s with this one shoe fits all, it’s easy to choose a narrative and pigeon hole without the debate!
    Gas is a transition fuel, alternatives are just not there, Yet!

  2. So, if Russian oil and coal imports are banned, what will immediately replace them??? Looks as if for UK it will be local oil and gas and then more nuclear. Anyone sorted out disposal of nuclear waste, yet?

    The UN really needs to reflect reality of the global situation, otherwise they start to look like another group of activists.

    Meanwhile, chaos at the airports as people try to get away for their holidays. And, all before Covid has been sorted.

    People buy into being persuaded. They switch off to doom and gloom, and activist groups with vested interests trying to impose.

    Sorry, I had some dental work done recently. I still maintained my incisors and canines. Those who want their jaws full of molars can probably achieve that, but not for me.

    • Antonio Guterres a socialist on $230,000 a year, it would be interesting as he says investments in fossil fuel investments would soon be stranded assets: “a blot on the landscape, and a blight on investment portfolios”.

      Where does he invest his large UN salary?, he and his crony’s are one cause of activism against the very fuels we take for granted, while most including the anti’s, jetting to the sun as the UK freezes during the Easter break.

      Best of luck with your teeth Martin

  3. Attacking the messenger is merely an attempt to distract from the message and is irrelevant. As the Hierarchy of Argument shows it is the lowest form of argument. Some say you have lost the argument if you resort to name calling. The science and the message is very clear.

    The debate over climate science has lasted for many years leading to delays and inaction, largely orchestrated by the fossil fuel industry and those with a vested interest. The fossil fuel industry withheld the findings of its own scientists on global warming for decades. The can has been continually kicked down the road. Hence why we now find ourselves needing to take drastic action to reduce emissions by 2025 and achieve Net Zero by 2050. Which is not along time. Achieving Net Zero is fundamental to halting global temperatures in order to prevent climate breakdown.

    We are therefore faced with difficult choices that require significant change and significant investment. There are no easy options left to us. The science is clear, fossil fuel use must be cut drastically and greener energy and technologies are the only way forward.

  4. Once “we” and “us” is added to the argument, KatT, you have lost.

    That goes back to the primary school playground. What you or I post, is individual opinion.

    Sorry, you can decide for yourself, I will do the same.

    Looking at those included within the DoD report, I would just suggest there are two sides to vested interest.

    My teeth are fine now, E-G. Not sure though that there will be too much bread for me to chomp with them, it all seems destined for “eco” petrol even though some scientists would now point out that the carbon footprint is actually no better than that of fossil fuel! (Link previously provided.) Two groups of scientists, two completely different findings. Wonder what happened to the scientists who supplied the information to encourage the Government to advise purchasing diesel cars? Probably, working for some German auto companies now.

    • “Once “we” and “us” is added to your argument,” Martin Frederick Collyer, “you have lost.” That goes back to your own primary school playground twaddle. What you post, is your own, individual opinion unsupported by substantiated verified scientific data or analysis or links. Incidentally, that also makes Eli Goth’s comment “lost” doesn’t it. (look at his post use of “we”)

      However, there can be no different findings using the scientific method. If two groups of scientists have two completely different findings, then one group is incorrect and has failed to fully explore the data, probably because they have been paid to ignore inconvenient data, or that they are politically, financially, ideologically, and dogmatically biased.

      Exxon and Shell’s two groups of scientists agreed that future dependency upon fossil fuel monopolies would cause pollution and climate damage problems way back in 1979. That agreement and consensus from Exxon and Shell’s own scientists was suppressed and buried in paid for fake media claims to hide the truth from the public and governments. the fossil fuel corporations have spent billions to sow doubt and propaganda against anthropogenic climate change, and have blatantly concealed and falsified the data that proves the 20 million deaths caused by fossil fuel pollution worldwide per year.

      Antithesis fossil fuel protagonist posts on Drill or Drop follow that fake narrative propaganda policy to the letter.

      That is blatant scientific fraud by Exxon and Shell and all the fossil fuel industry corporations that took part in that fraud. Reliance on fossil fuels since the 1979 has produced precisely and unambiguously the predicted results of their own consensus scientists. Fossil fuel monopolies pollution and use has plunged the entire Earth into the facts of 1 in 5 deaths worldwide per year, being due to fossil fuel pollution. The destruction of the Earth’s climate and the cause of the sixth major extinction level event in the Earths History. (British Medical Journal Links previously provided). The evidence of all that is visible all round the entire Earth today. There was no disagreement between Exxon and Shell’s scientists about the effects of fossil fuel pollution. On the contrary, there was total agreement and that has proved to be entirely accurate today.

      In the UK, fossil fuel pollution has caused anywhere between 36,000 deaths per year to 150,000 severe health injuries of men women and children per year. (British Medical Journal Links previously provided). That has caused massive strain on the NHS. Fossil fuel pollution should have resulted in a moratorium on fossil fuels and sanctions upon further fossil fuel exploration and extraction. Instead, the fossil fuel industry promotes war in Ukraine as an excuse to cause the worst inflation since the 1950’s and is in the process of creating not just energy poverty, for everyone, but economic, food and health poverty worldwide, while the corporations “make more money than they know what to do with”. (Quote)

      Have a Nice Day…..

  5. Oh dear. Please note, I do not use we and us.

    So, fossil fuels should have had a moratorium placed upon them! Poor old reaction would have been excluded from driving to London. Many more would have died from Covid as the artificial rubber required for their treatment would not have been there. Many more would have died once natural disasters struck as the rescuers would have arrived late without all the equipment that required fossil fuel after the electricity supply had been devastated. PNR would have had far fewer protestors.

    [Edited by moderator]

    Then, it is Ukraine that is somehow the responsibility of the fossil fuel corporations. So, how would any country defend itself without fossil fuel against an aggressor who has plenty? And, again, there is no true reflection of what the price of oil was before the conflict in Ukraine. There really is a constant trashing of recent history to try and get a message out there-but it is fake. That same recent history that can just ignore 2020 impact upon the corporations. (It costs me 50% more to get my hair cut, to compensate for 2020. Shock/horror, who would have expected that? Certainly not those gloating about the problems of the corporations in 2020. Myself? Yes.)

    Have a Nicer Day…free of hypocrisy.

    • Martin Frederick Collyer

      Yes, you did indeed write “we” and “us”, you said:

      “Once “we” and “us” is added to the argument, KatT, you have lost.”

      Or don’t you read your own posts any more than you read anyone else’s? As soon as you use the very words your school playground obsessional fixations twaddle dictate as being “lost”, you incriminate your own post and prove you have “lost” by your own definitions. That is a self-defeating obsessional fixation.

      It’s the recent “conspiracy theory” embarrassment all over again, isn’t it.

      Neither can you use the excuse for plastics either, since the entire planet Earth is now so polluted with poisonous genetically altering microplastic detritus, it is now found in the lowest oceanic trenches and on the highest mountains. Microplastics are now found in all food products and in human babies milk. That legacy of the fossil fuel pollution will take centuries to clean up and the deaths of many more than 20 million people a year worldwide. Something I see you failed to address, again….

      No. Plastics choke the oceans and kill vast numbers of sea life worldwide. There are areas of the oceans that are dead, devoid of all life, and that death zone is spreading. Not just from plastics, but from the de-oxygenation of the seas, that is due to the absorption of greenhouse gasses into the oceans. It’s causing the seas to be unable to support life of any kind. Including our own. Whales and dolphins, birds and animals in land and sea, are found with their stomachs filled with poisonous indigestible plastic items. Whereas there have been, for many years, perfectly safe natural alternatives that existed prior to the “plastic revolution” and could still be used now in precisely the same way.

      Dead zones: how chemical pollution is suffocating the sea | The Economist

      If you want to look at the corruption and monetisation of the medical professions through fossil fuel derived pharmaceutical drug products, you need to research into the Flexner report in 1910 which enabled John D Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, the richest oil and gas industrialists at the time, to high jack the previously holistic and natural medicine medical institutions. It also excluded natural black medicine hospitals and institutions from even treating people with holistic naturopathic medicines, and made their practice and use illegal. Many naturopathic doctors were imprisoned for prescribing pharmaceutically forbidden and concealed naturalistic treatments, even when they healed 100% of their patients.

      How the Flexner Report hijacked natural medicine

      You can’t use the excuse of fossil fuels providing vehicles for rescue or anything else, either, since the alternatives existed before the Rockefeller’s promoted fossil fuels and crushed the use of the already very successful electric vehicles.

      As regards Ukraine, it’s the same situation, the monopolies on fossil fuels are a trap, since it enables fossil fuel monopolies to exploit the war in Ukraine so that fossil fuels become a premium financial profit making resource. That has enabled the fossil fuel corporations to hold the entire world to ransom and to exploit the situation for more and more and more exorbitant hikes in the price of oil and gas.

      Your argument also defeats itself there too, since the Russian invading forces also use fossil fuel energy for their tanks and jets and bombs. So by your own argument, without fossil fuels, the Russians wouldn’t have been able to invade Ukraine in the first place! You really need to think what you write before writing, otherwise the unconsidered results are frankly embarrassing for you.

      Have a Nicer Day…free of your own hypocrisy….

  6. What a contrived load of alternative something.

    Firstly, I quoted someone else’s text, in terms of we and us. Inconvenient to your attempt to deflect, but obvious and clear to everyone else.

    So, other countries will obey what the West decides? Nope. Sorry, but the evidence is all too obvious for anyone to observe. A current day colonialist approach, wasn’t even accurate in the past and unacceptable to modern thinking and current experience.

    Electric vehicles in a disaster zone? Good one-not. Electricity supply is not even secure in UK if the wind blows too much. It certainly is not in other parts of the world. Please take a look at survival rates now after a natural disaster compared to the past. The data is available, but inconvenient. Just more collateral damage required?

    Now there are doctors who are culpable! Sorry, Frank, but it seems the cross hairs are not that targeted, just cross. Morals and ethics for professional bodies suddenly put in the bin by the very hand claiming them to all be so virtuous. Back to the kill or cure remedies. Those that survive report the cure, those that do not are silenced. The first effective treatment for gangrene just before the Korean War. Good for Dr. Ben Duggar. I am not certain how all those who suffered from gangrene during previous conflicts felt about natural cures, but I suspect they were not there for long enough to give their opinions, or had no arms left to write them down. I have read many reports of treatment during the Korean War and the results that were seen as something never seen before.

    I do indeed think about what I post, and do so not requiring a cover up to be applied to validate.

    Others should try it, or not. Then all can decide where the hypocrisy lies. Meanwhile, my appetite for Sunday Sermons will be directed to sources that are validated as authentic. However, to finish on a positive note, the inclusion of Cohen is a welcome improvement on the DIY.

    • Nope. The words you are looking for, are facts, reality, truth and inconvenient substantiated verified documentation.

      “What a contrived load of alternative something.” I’m glad you admit it. I thought your words contrived and alternative as well. Though contrived to be alternative to truth would be more definitive and accurate don’t you think?

      What you wrote in your own words, is there for everyone to see. The consequences for your own words are your own concern. Nothing is contrived other than your own weak excuses and evasions. Your own words are there in black and white for everyone to see. Do you deny writing them? In “quoting someone else’s text” you write the same yourself, and are therefore guilty of your own accusation. That is inescapable.

      Word obsessions are all twaddle anyway. Just silly labels. It says nothing and does nothing. Not only that, but it’s merely an excuse not to face the truth and address the issues. It demonstrates weakness and fear of simple words that indicate inclusion of others in any discussion. It does not indicate strength and power of convictions. Quite the opposite.

      Once again, you avoid the significant the issues of fossil fuel pollution and 20 million deaths per year, the anthropogenic climate change caused by fossil fuel pollution, and the sixth major extinction level event in the history of the Earth caused by fossil fuel pollution. (verified substantiated links provided previously) Plus another twenty or more questions you have refused even to acknowledge. Let alone answer.

      The seas and oceans are dying. That is a fact. Does that mean nothing to you? Oceanic dead zones are already evident across the Earth. And you trot out obsessions with silly infantile school playground obsessions. How should that be considered in the enormity of the situation facing every living creature on the face of the Earth. Evasion doesn’t even begin to address what that speaks of. What use is money and profit, if the only thing it will buy, is expensive DUMB coffins?

      None of those substantiated and verified facts and previously provided links to sources, are even referred to in your posts. They merely plump for minor deflections evasions, avoidances and obfuscations. They are the real words, that you are afraid to address. No-one else’s.

      • How do you know that electric vehicles, are not useable in any situation. Have you looked around you recently? Electric vehicles aren’t the only possibility, though, are they. There was the Australian guy nicknamed “Joe”, who ran his car purely on water. Just a few modifications to the internal combustion engine. (verified links provided previously) He claimed to have achieved 100 miles out of a gallon of water. A reporter wrote that was true, as he had been invited to examine the vehicle and travel 100 miles himself. Guess what happened to “Joe”?

        Imagine what water powered vehicles would do to fossil fuel price hikes? It would collapse the entire fossil fuel industry overnight. Even if hydrogen powered vehicles are viable, that only goes to show that “Joe” was not that far from the mark. Do you think the fossil fuel corporations haven’t considered that?

        There have been many, many other inventors, who made similar discoveries. Nicola Tesla, for one. Energy straight from the electromagnetic field of the Earth. No fuel refills necessary. Ever. The only reason that these alternatives to fossil fuels are not available here today, may well be the fossil fuel industry either bought them out and buried them. Or the inventors suffered an untimely death and their inventions disappeared. I’ll leave you to figure that out by yourself. Just to give you a clue, it had nothing to do with infant school playground word obsessions. But maybe it has to do with preserving the fossil fuel monopoly profiteering obsessions….

        Your comments on the qualified medical profession, are, as usual, intentionally offensive, completely inaccurate and dismally uneducated. And again attempt to avoid the issue of the Flexner Report and John D Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie high jacking of the erstwhile very well organised and naturalistic, effective medical professions of the time. In order to turn natural plant and mineral medicine into for profit only allopathic sickness obsessions. The Flexner Report also forbade coloured doctors and medical practices from operating at all, under pain of arrest and imprisonment.

        No. You do not think about what you post, or you wouldn’t fall into your own word traps, would you. Have you apologised to your back-up buddy Eli Goth for implicating that his post had “lost” yet?

        Or do you want to apply more covering up in order to disguise that your own words are subsequently invalidated?

        Everyone can indeed decide where the hypocrisy lies. (to kill two word obsessions with one sentence)

        As for your, appetite for Sunday entertainment, I am happy to directed you to sources that are validated substantiated, proven and authentic. Provided that the alternative does not descend into substantiation abuse, or be detrimental to environmental health.

        I’m pleased you liked Leonard Cohen. He fashioned his own DIY into his poems and songs. Maybe next Sunday, there will be more, as you are apparently such a fan of naturalistic holistic plant enhancements.

  7. Yep, and there are wind powered ships and horses to transport.

    Trouble is, by the time they arrived, it was all too late. Hence the much higher mortality rates.

    What desperate stuff.

    The “only reason”, and “may well be”, then “or”, requires some medical advice to sort that I am not qualified for.

    And, no, quoting someone else’s text does not make the person quoting guilty of anything in that text. OMG do you really have any contact with reality? Have you not observed any court proceedings? There are professions out there making a very good living from doing that constantly. Starmer spends much of PMQs doing it. Some have previously been quoted as obeying orders or a small part of the whole, but those quoting were not associated with doing so but pointing out that was invalid and a personal choice. Reporters in Russia are currently doing so, yet many have no association with what they are quoting. Guilt by association from quoting? A new one to me. Ruth needs to be made aware!

    Yes, I have always liked Cohen, and especially enjoyed his live performances. But, then, I have always liked quality rather than quantity.

    Have just been playing jumping frogs with my grandson. Guilt from quotation?

    Reminds me of:

    “Grandad, grandad, make a noise like a frog.”


    “Daddy says when you croak, I can have a new bike!”

    • Hmm. Still attempting to slip and slide out from under your own word obsessions, Martin Frederick Collyer? More diversions and obfuscations in there than a fossil fuel pollution industry billion petro dollar propaganda media advert. And that’s saying something.

      Tut, tut. Let’s put it in simple terms, since sophisticated concepts are clearly beyond your capability.

      Yes, quoting someone else’s text in the context in which you originally presented it, does indeed make you guilty of anything in that text if you extract individual words in that bizarre word fixation as you have done and attempt to say anyone has “lost” by doing so. That is what you attempted to write.

      That is the Real World context of your own words. Not your subsequent obfuscated version. You didn’t just quote someone randomly. You attempted to make the most bizarre implication from everyday words in order to accuse someone, by your own infantile school playground word obsessions, that they have, in your own words, “lost” simply by using those obsessed about words. That is not only irrational to anyone else, it’s entirely irrational in any context. And so clearly only applies to yourself. Not anyone else. Hoist by your own petard again.

      Like I said, it’s a self-defeating, self generated concept that self-destructs on contact. Since it only applies to yourself. Not to anyone else.

      BTW. Have you apologised yet to Eli Goth for saying that by using the word “we” in his post, then he has “lost” by your own definition? Or does that only apply to others? Not your backup buddies? You don’t mention that, either. Strange that?

      You also still have not answered the twenty and more questions about fossil fuel pollution yet again. Still avoiding the declarations by Exxon and Shell’s scientists agreeing that the Earth’s climate will be damaged by dependency on fossil fuel monopolies that the inevitable build up of fossil fuel pollution if allowed to proceed unabated will severely damage the climate by the beginning of the next century (today). No disagreement there. Only too accurate wasn’t it.

      As usual, instead of addressing these world changing events, you trot out those bizarre word fixations to make excuses not to answer the Real World issues of the 20 million deaths per year worldwide from fossil fuel pollution, massive climate change caused by fossil fuel pollution, and the sixth major extinction level event in the Earths’ history caused by fossil fuel pollution.

      That is the Real World hypocrisy, clearly and unambiguously, isn’t it.

      So Martin Frederick Collyer, make a noise like a frog. And give your grandchild a bike. The fossil fuel industry says it has more money than it knows what to do with. But then says, let the grandchildren eat bugs.

      Have a Nice Hypocritical Word Obsession.

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