​Guterres wants fossil fuel producing countries ‘fined’

​Guterres wants fossil fuel producing countries ‘fined’
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. [Photo: Courtesy]

​The United Nations’ Secretary General, António Guterres, has called on world leaders to tax fossil fuel producing companies, in a bid to stop climate change.

“It is high time to put fossil fuel producers, investors and enablers on notice. Polluters must pay. And today I am calling on all developed economies to tax the windfall profits of fossil fuel companies,” Guterres said during the UN General Assembly in New York.

 Such funds, he argued, would be used to fight climate change caused by fossil fuels.

“Those funds should be redirected in two ways: to countries suffering loss and damage caused by the climate crisis; and to people struggling with rising food and energy prices,” he said.

According to Guterres, the fossil fuel companies benefit as they throw people’s lives at risk.

“The fossil fuel industry is feasting on subsidies and windfall profits while household budgets shrink and our planet burns,” he continued.

The UN chief warned against continued use of fossil fuels adding that the world was heading towards what he called “catastrophic situation.”

“We see [carbon] emissions growing, and we see fossil fuels become fashionable again. We absolutely need to reverse this trend. We are moving into a catastrophic situation. We need to increase the support in building resilience,” Guterres noted.

“Climate change seems to have been dropped as a priority by many decision makers around the world. We don’t have much time to turn things around.”

Last week, the first vice president, Riek Machar, told the South Sudan Oil and Power conference that the country would continue exploiting fossil fuel to construct better infrastructure beforehand.