Fossil firms under fire after temperature warnings

Environmentalists have called for the world to make the worst greenhouse gas emitters pay as new data found the past 13 months have been the hottest in history.

Reacting to data from the Copernicus Climate Change Service that June 2024 was the hottest June on record, which makes it the 13th consecutive month for which the global average temperature reached a record, Greenpeace said the impact of being felt across the planet and a strategy needed to be created to make those who are causing the rising temperatures pay.

Ian Duff, head of Greenpeace International’s Stop Drilling Start Paying campaign said: “Survivors of extreme weather over the last month are in the millions. From China and India to Greece and Italy, from Saudi Arabia to Jamaica and the US, floods, fires, and heat waves have shattered homes, claimed lives and hurt people’s health, costing the world over $41 billion in damages in the first months of the year, according to a recent Christian Aid report. This is happening while Big Oil is making huge profits while people are suffering – reportedly over $2.8 billion every day for the past 50 years.”

He added: “Yet, climate change’s perpetrators are but a few. A handful of international oil and gas companies are chiefly responsible for fuelling extreme weather events. Not only did they deny climate science, they actively slowed down the solutions and now the expansion plans by Big Oil’s executives are a reckless assault on our planet.

“Greenpeace is campaigning to finally push governments to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for the loss and damage it creates, while it is raking up trillions in profits. Big Oil might have bought the media, they might have bought politicians – but our future and our heritage are not for sale. Through legislation, litigation and nonviolent action, we join youth groups, senior citizens, Indigenous Peoples and many others to restore justice and secure a stable climate.”

Avinash Kumar Chanchal, campaign manager, Greenpeace South Asia, said the region is already being hit hard and action needed to be taken.

“Our communities are already bearing the worst consequences of heatwaves, including health risks, deaths and livelihood crises, especially among the most vulnerable,” he said. “Marginalised groups, including women, children, senior citizens, low-income communities, labourers and outdoor workers, suffer the most. These people often do not have the money or resources to cope with such a climate disaster.

“We have attribution science now that is already linking extreme weather events to fossil fuel induced climate change. The fossil fuel industry is causing widespread and irreversible loss and damage by continuing its operations while ignoring climate impacts.

“We must hold these historically responsible polluting corporations with headquarters in high-income countries accountable. We demand that they set clear targets and timelines to pay for the damage they have caused while ensuring a time-bound, just energy transition. This will ensure adequate resources for the most vulnerable communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change and build resilience.”