UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for a ban on advertising for oil, gas, and coal companies, the primary contributors to global warming.  

This comes after international climate monitors linked to the EU released new reports indicating that the planet is in deep environmental trouble. 

“I urge every country to ban advertising from fossil fuel companies, and I urge news media and tech companies to stop taking fossil fuel advertising,” Guterres said during a speech in New York on Wednesday. 

The Portuguese politician and diplomat referred to fossil fuel companies as the “godfathers of climate chaos” that rake in “record profits and feast off trillions in taxpayer-funded subsidies”.  

He restated his support for taxing the fossil fuel industry’s profits to fund efforts to combat global warming. He specifically highlighted the idea of implementing “solidarity levies” on industries such as “shipping, aviation and fossil fuel extraction.” 

A solidarity levy is an additional government tax to fund environmental or social projects.  

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“It is [high] time to put an effective price on carbon and tax the windfall profits of fossil fuel companies,” Guterres added.  

The UN head, who has held the position since 2017, also urged financial institutions to stop “bankrolling the fossil fuel destruction and start investing in a global renewables revolution”. 

The world still relies on coal, oil and gas for more than 75% of its energy needs, and there is still a high global demand for oil. 

Highlighting the European Commission Copernicus Climate Change Service’s report, which recorded May as the hottest month ever, the UN chief emphasised the necessity of reducing global emissions by 9% annually to maintain the Paris Agreement of a 1.5°C temperature increase limit above pre-industrial levels, an international treaty adopted in 2015.  

He said: “The cost of all this chaos is hitting people where it hurts: from supply chains severed to rising prices, mounting food insecurity, and uninsurable homes and businesses.”  

He added: “That bill will keep growing. Even if emissions hit zero tomorrow, a recent study found that climate chaos will still cost at least $38trn a year by 2050.” 

UN experts estimate that the amount is more than the $2.4trn needed by 2030 for developing countries, excluding China, to transition away from fossil fuels and adjust to a warmer planet. 

According to Guterres, the G20 countries produce 80% of global emissions, and they have the responsibility and capacity to lead by making huge emissions cuts and showing “climate solidarity by providing technological and financial support to emerging G20 economies and other developing countries”.