On Wednesday UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres made his most hard hitting condemnation of the fossil fuel industry ever. Citing the latest European Commission Copernicus Climate Change Service report showing last month was the hottest May in history, the UN chief said global emissions need to fall nine per cent every year just to keep the 1.5℃ temperature rise limit above pre-industrial levels alive.  Last year, they went up by one per cent.*………. In the case of climate, we are not the dinosaurs. We are the meteor. We are not only in danger, we are the danger. But, we are also the solution.”…….We are playing Russian roulette with our planet,” ……. “We need an exit ramp off the highway to climate hell, and the truth is we have control of the wheel.”….

Guterres stated that pulling back from the brink is still just possible but it depends on what is done over the next decade and most critically, the next 18 months. He called for a worldwide ban on fossil fuel advertising….I call on these companies to stop acting as enablers to planetary destruction. Stop taking on new fossil fuel clients, from today, and set out plans to drop your existing ones. G20 economies should go furthest and fastest while also providing technical and financial support to developing nations, supporting them with fairer climate finance and an end to the crippling debt and high interest rates**……We cannot accept a future where the rich are protected in air-conditioned bubbles while the rest of humanity is lashed by lethal weather in unliveable lands……Climate finance is not a favour; it is a fundamental element to a liveable future for all’. 

Finally Guterres had encouraging words for climate activists everywhere…..You are on the right side of history. You speak for the majority. Keep it up; don’t lose courage, don’t lose hope.” It is now “We the Peoples versus the polluters and profiteers” and united together “we can win.”“Now is the time to mobilise, now is the time to act, now is the time to deliver. This is our moment of truth.”

*The UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) also reported on Wednesday that there is an 80 per cent chance the 1.5℃ limit – the target established in the Paris Agreement in 2015 – will be passed in one of the next five years.

**The IEA has also reported that the world is falling short of the  COP28 pledge to triple renewable capacity by 2030.