Continued fossil fuel subsidization will ‘destroy planet’

The United Nations General Secretary António Guterres has offered a stark warning to global leaders; continuing to subsidize the global fossil fuel industry will destroy the planet.

Mr Guterres recently returned from a trip to the South Pacific, where he visited communities most direly affected by the climate crisis.

“It is clear to me that we have no time to waste. All around the world, people are now losing their homes and being forced to migrate because of climate change. Sea level is rising. Floods. Drought. Wildfires. Extreme storms appear everywhere. Rarely a day goes by without a new disaster highlighting the perils of a warming world,” Mr Guterres said in his opening remarks at the R20 Australian World Summit in Vienna earlier this week.

Mr Guterres urged immediate action to de-carbonise the global economy, saying that urgent action is required to avert catastrophic impacts on humanity.

“We need to tax pollution, not people, and to end subsidies for fossil fuels. The story of subsidies for fossil fuels is not usually well-described. Many people still think that to give fossil fuels subsidies is a way to improve living conditions of people,” Mr Guterres said.

“There is nothing more wrong than that. What we are doing is using taxpayers’ money — which means our money — to boost hurricanes, to spread droughts, to melt glaciers, to bleach corals. In one word — to destroy the world.”

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