Guterres denounces "big lie" of oil companies on global warming |     |  01/19/2023       (  )

Guterres denounces "big lie" of oil companies on global warming | | 01/19/2023 ( )

At the forum in Davos on Wednesday (18 January 2023), UN Secretary-General António Guterres railed against the oil companies for having spread a “big lie” by concealing their role in global warming.

Speaking to businesspeople and politicians gathered at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Guterres drew a parallel between the strategy of oil companies and tobacco companies, which have faced massive lawsuits over the effects of cigarettes.

“Some fossil fuel producers in the 1970s were fully aware that their flagship product was going to burn up the planet,” he said.

ExxonMobil rejects the conclusions drawn by its own scientists about the role of fossil fuels in climate change, according to a study published last week in the journal Science.

“But like the tobacco industry, they’ve paid little attention to their own science,” Guterres added, referring to lawsuits showing tobacco companies had been hiding the dangers of their products.

“Some oil giants sold the big lie. Like the tobacco industry, those responsible must be held accountable,” he added.

optimism fades

Guterres urged the world to “end dependence on fossil fuels” and warned that the target of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels was “losing”.

In 1998, several US states entered into a historic $246 billion agreement against tobacco companies intended to cover the cost of treating smokers affected by the harmful effects of cigarettes.

The ExxonMobil study released last week revealed that the company’s scientists had modeled and predicted global warming “with amazing accuracy.”

However, the company “spent the next two decades denying this very climate science.” ExxonMobil is the subject of several lawsuits in the United States.

A spokesman for ExxonMobil claimed last week that the issue had been raised several times in recent years, and in each case the company responded that “those who say ‘Exxon knew’ are wrong in their conclusions.” gs ( efe , afp, ap)