March 21 (UPI) — United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Monday that the oil rush fueled by Russia’s war in Ukraine is “madness” that hurts global efforts to curtail climate change.
Guterres criticized countries like Germany and the United States, which have rushed to increase supplies of oil and natural gas after banning Russian oil, during an event hosted by The Economist.
“Countries could become so consumed by the immediate fossil fuel supply gap that they neglect or knee-cap policies to cut fossil fuel use,” he said, according to Euronews.
“This is madness. Addiction to fossil fuels is mutually assured destruction.”
Guterres said that instead of turning to other sources for oil, as well as harmful liquified natural gas, countries should “accelerate the phase out of coal and all fossil fuels.”
“Instead of hitting the brakes on the decarbonization of the global economy, now is the time to put the pedal to the metal towards a renewable energy future,” Guterres said according to BBC News.
He added that some countries aren’t doing enough to curb climate-warning emissions, which has put the Paris Agreement’s goal of capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius “on life support.”
Germany has halted certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, but says it plans to build liquefied natural gas terminals to become less dependent on Russian gas.
Earlier this month, U.S. President Joe Biden barred all U.S. imports of Russian oil in another move to punish Moscow economically for its war in Ukraine.