For Immediate Release:
15 June 2023


Valentina Stackl, +1 (734) 276 6260,

In response to UN Secretary General António Guterres speech, Oil Change International campaigners said: 

David Tong, Global Industry lead at Oil Change International, said:

“UN Secretary General António Guterres delivered an extraordinary speech in New York today, finally proclaiming the unspoken truths about the oil and gas industry. He has named the oil and gas companies that are doing the most to cause the climate crisis “planet-wreckers”. Our data show no big oil and gas company has a business model that meets the bare minimum for aligning with the Paris Agreement. Peer reviewed research confirms that Guterres is right: fossil fuels are a road to extinction.

“The Big Oil and Gas business model cannot be reformed. Its foundation is destruction – of communities, of ecosystems, and all our futures. Governments must act to phase out this destructive industry and unlock the transition to nature-positive, community-owned, renewable energy.”

Laurie van der Burg, Global Public Finance Campaign co-lead at Oil Change International, said: 

“UN Secretary General António Guterres is rightfully calling on financial institutions to end financing for new oil and gas fields and reassuring those that have already done so that they are doing the right thing. Already, 39 countries and institutions and the G7 have committed to end international public finance for new coal, oil, and gas. Those that have followed through on this commitment are shifting USD 5.7 billion in support of an accelerated clean energy transition. Others, particularly the United States, Germany, Japan, and Italy, need to urgently follow suit.”

Romain Ioualalen, Global Policy lead at Oil Change International, said:

“This speech by the UN Secretary General is a wake up call for the countries that wasted two weeks arguing over procedural matters at the Bonn climate conference instead of charting a path towards a COP28 decision to phase out fossil fuels. Countries must step up and fulfill the promises they made in Paris in 2015 to halt fossil fuel expansion and agree to a fair, fast, and full transition away from oil, gas, and coal and towards renewables. Over 70 countries have called for a COP28 decision on fossil fuel phase-out in Bonn. Countries like Colombia and the members of the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance are doing the hard work of implementing measures to keep oil and gas in the ground.

“The contrast between this leadership and the actions of the world’s biggest historic polluter, the United States could not be more striking. Under Biden’s leadership, the U.S. has failed in its responsibility to lead a global and just transition away from fossil fuels and avert further climate disaster and has instead actively promoted fossil fuel expansion including with public money.”



  • The Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (BOGA) is an international alliance of governments and stakeholders working together to facilitate the managed phase-out of oil and gas production. Led by the governments of Denmark and Costa Rica, the alliance aims to elevate the issue of oil and gas production phase-out in international climate dialogues, mobilize action and commitments, and create an international community of practice on this issue.
  • At COP26 in Glasgow, 39 countries and institutions committed (under the ‘Clean Energy Transition Partnership’) to end international public finance for fossil fuels by the end of 2022 and instead prioritize their public finance for clean energy. OCI analysis shows that signatories who have met this commitment, including the UK, France, Denmark and Canada, are already shifting USD 5.7 billion a year out of fossil fuels. If all signatories were to fulfill their commitment they could shift an additional USD 13.7 billion, which would allow them to increase their collective clean energy finance to USD 37 billion, a sum large enough to close the energy access finance gap. In Bonn, several countries underlined the role of the initiative in delivering on the Paris Agreement commitment to align financial flows with climate goals (Article 2.1(c)).