UN chief condemns rich states 'vicious' tactics against poor ones
Guterres said at the summit of the Least Developed Countries that wealthy nations should provide $500 billion a year to aid deprived states who are "trapped in a vicious cycle" which prevents them from boosting their economy.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres criticized the world's rich countries and energy giants for suppressing poor countries by imposing 'predatory' interest rates and high fuel prices.
Guterres said at the summit of the most deprived states that wealthy nations should provide $500 billion a year to aid deprived states who are "trapped in a vicious cycle" that prevents them from boosting their economy.
Normally, the summit of 46 Least Developed Countries (LDC) is held every 10 years. It was delayed in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Two of the world's poorest countries, Afghanistan and Myanmar, were not at the meeting held in Doha because their governments aren't recognized by UN members. Leaders from major economies did not attend.
Guterres slammed powerful nations for the way they treat poor nations.
"Economic development is challenging when countries are starved for resources, drowning in debt, and still struggling with the historic injustice of an unequal COVID-19 response," he said.
The LDCs long protested that they did not receive their fair share of the coronavirus vaccine as opposed to European countries and North American counties.
"Combatting climate catastrophe that you did nothing to cause is challenging when the cost of capital is sky-high" and the financial help received "is a drop in the bucket", said Guterres.
Read more: Climate change 'greatest threat' the world faces: UN expert
"Fossil fuel giants are raking in huge profits, while millions in your countries cannot put food on the table."
Guterres highlighted that after the war in Ukraine, the poorest nations were left behind in the face of increased prices of food and fuel.
Guterres calls out oil companies for peddling in 'big lies'
In an address to the World Economic Forum earlier in January, Guterres scorned oil firms for having "peddled the big lie" regarding their role in global warming.
The Secretary-General drew a parallel between tobacco and fossil fuel companies claiming both knew that their products had adverse effects and did nothing about it. Today, however, Guterres argued that tobacco companies face large-scale lawsuits and so must fossil fuel firms.
"We learned last week that certain fossil fuel producers were fully aware in the 1970s that their core product was baking our planet," Guterres said.
This statement comes in reference to the newly published study that revealed that ExxonMobil knew of its role in furthering the climate crisis, "with shocking accuracy," because its own scientists have predicted those conclusions decades ago. However, the company dismissed findings by its own scientists and spent "the next couple of decades denying that very climate science."