United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres opened the annual high-level debate at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday – where over 100 heads of government are expected to speak, demanding $100 billion from “developed countries” to fight allegedly deadly “climate chaos.”
Guterres made the “climate crisis” a core part of address, the first as per tradition at the event.
“No more dirty production. No more fake solutions. No more bankrolling climate denial,” the U.N. chief demanded.
Guterres call for countries to invest $100 billion in “developing country climate action” and another unspecified amount in the U.N.’s “Green Climate Fund” follows the publication of a report last week revealing that his organization’s claims to carbon neutrality are largely fraudulent, based on a system known as “carbon credits” where the U.N. pays off allegedly “green” projects to offset its own emissions.
Many of those projects, non-profit news agencies Mongabay and the New Humanitarian found, are of dubious value to combatting climate change and some actively hurt their local environments.
U.N. agencies emit pollution “roughly equal to the annual emissions of 1.5 million gasoline-powered cars,” the agencies found.
Guterres nonetheless portrayed the United Nations as a leader in the fight against “climate chaos,” a phrase he used repeatedly throughout his speech. He began his remarks noting the massive human loss in Derna, Libya, following the rupture of neglected dams amid unprecedented flooding. The death toll in Derna currently stands above 11,000 people and is expected to potentially reach 20,000.
The casualties, Guterres claimed, were “victims of climate chaos” and “victims of leaders near and far who failed to find a way to peace.”
“As we speak, bodies are washing ashore from the same Mediterranean Sea where billionaires sunbake on their superyachts. Derna is a sad snapshot of the state of our world,” he lamented.
Guterres returned to the climate issue after his introduction, calling it “the most immediate threat to our future.”
“Climate change is not just a change in the weather. Climate change is changing life on our planet. It is affecting every aspect of our work. It is killing people and devastating communities,” he claimed, later warning, “this is only the beginning.”
“The fossil fuel age has failed. If fossil fuel companies want to be part of the solution, they must lead the transition to renewable energy,” Guterres asserted. ” Developed countries must reach net zero as close as possible to 2040, and emerging economies as close as possible to 2050. Developed countries must finally deliver the $100 billion for developing country climate action, as promised; And replenish the Green Climate Fund, as promised.”
The money is part of several “drastic steps” Guterres said the alleged emergency requires “to ensure climate justice.”
Guterres heartened climate alarmism advocates, asserting they were “on the right side of history” and promising, “I won’t give up this fight for our lives.”
Outside of his demands for funding to fight the climate, Guterres also asked countries to “urgently advance” a $500-billion-a-year contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals Stimulus. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are 17 aspirational objectives the United Nations has pressured countries to embrace, with minimal specifics, for the past decade. They include ending hunger, ending poverty, “reduced inequalities,” and “climate action.”
Guterres also took some time to disparage his own organization as “stuck in time,” particularly the United Nations Security Council. The Security Council’s system in which five countries – the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China – hold permanent, veto-powered seats while other countries must rotate onto the panel has been the source of much condemnation for years, exacerbated recently by Russia using its veto power to protect itself from criticism over the invasion of Ukraine. This year, only one of the five veto powers on the Council, America, sent its head of state to the General Assembly, rankling Guterres.
“A multipolar world needs strong and effective multilateral institutions yet global governance is stuck in time. Look no further than the United Nations Security Council,” Guterres said, which he claimed reflected “the political and economic realities of 1945, when many countries in this assembly were still under colonial domination.”
“The world has changed, our institutions have not,” he added. “We cannot effectively address problems as they are if institutions do not reflect the world as it is.”
Guterres also demanded countries fight “hate speech, disinformation, and conspiracy theories on social media platforms,” which he claimed were “amplified by AI” and a cause of concern for the world.
“Democracy is under threat, authoritarianism is on the march, inequalities are growing and hate speech is on the rise,” Guterres added.
Guterres has spent much of tenure promoting a “global digital compact” to force countries to police speech online.