Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

António Guterres

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres delivers an address following the publication of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on April 4, 2022. (Photo: United Nations/YouTube screen grab)

UN Chief: Those Expanding Fossil Fuels—Not Climate Activists—Are the 'Truly Dangerous Radicals'

"Some government and business leaders are saying one thing—but doing another," António Guterres said in a scathing address. "Simply put, they are lying."

Brett Wilkins

Following the publication of a key United Nations climate report on Monday, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres took aim at governments and corporations—whom he accused "a litany of broken climate promises"—while defending the activists fighting for a future free from fossil fuels.

"The truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels. Investing in new fossil fuels infrastructure is moral and economic madness."

In an address to the world's population, Guterres called the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report "a file of shame, cataloging the empty pledges that put us firmly on track towards an unlivable world."

"We are on a fast track to climate disaster," he asserted. "Major cities underwater. Unprecedented heatwaves. Terrifying storms. Widespread water shortages. The extinction of a million species of plants and animals."

"This is not fiction or exaggeration. It is what science tells us will result from our current energy policies. We are on a pathway to global warming of more than double the 1.5°C limit agreed in Paris," Guterres said, referring to the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement.

"Some government and business leaders are saying one thing—but doing another," he added. "Simply put, they are lying."

"Climate activists are sometimes depicted as dangerous radicals. But the truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels," Guterres continued. "Investing in new fossil fuels infrastructure is moral and economic madness."

Guterres said that the world "must triple the speed of the shift to renewable energy. That means moving investments and subsidies from fossil fuels to renewables—now. In most cases, renewables are already far cheaper. It means governments ending the funding of coal, not just abroad, but at home."

"Leaders must lead, but all of us must do our part," he added. "We owe a debt to young people, civil society, and Indigenous communities for sounding the alarm and holding leaders accountable. We need to build on their work to create a grassroots movement that cannot be ignored."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Donald Trump Has Finally Run Out of Places to Hide' as House Dems Get Tax Returns

"It's no longer a question of if he's hiding something big," one watchdog group asserted, "it's a question of what he's hiding."

Brett Wilkins ·


Democrats, Progressive Groups Push DOJ to Publish Database of 'Corporate Lawbreaking'

"The Corporate Crime Database Act will bring transparency to the corporate crime crisis so that the DOJ and other law enforcement agencies can better reckon with this greed-driven menace," said one advocate.

Kenny Stancil ·


As Corporations Enjoy Record-High Profits, Experts Urge Congress to 'Rein Them In'

"Today's record corporate profits mirror what we have been hearing on earnings call after earnings call: Corporations are gleefully reporting that their strategy to burden families with unnecessary price hikes is working."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Egregious': PFAS Firefighting Foam Spills at Notorious Red Hill Naval Facility in Hawaii

While officials said there is no evidence that drinking water was contaminated, the incident generated further local frustration with the closing fuel storage complex.

Jessica Corbett ·


House Passes Paid Sick Leave for Railway Workers Despite Opposition of 207 Republicans

"Now let's get it through the Senate," said Rep. Jamaal Bowman, who led the fight to add seven days of paid sick leave to a White House-brokered contract that failed to provide any to railroad workers.

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo