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Climate communications group, Comms Declare has called on governments and media to follow the pleas from the UN and stop fossil fuel advertising.

In a major speech in New York, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made a scathing attack on fossil fuels companies as the “Godfathers of climate chaos”.

“Many governments restrict or prohibit advertising for products that harm human health, like tobacco,” he said. “I urge every country to ban advertising from fossil-fuel companies. And I urge news media and tech companies to stop taking fossil-fuel advertising.”

Comms Declare founder, Belinda Noble said, “Australia has a proud legacy of being a world leader in banning tobacco advertising. We must now do the same with coal, petroleum and gas.

“Any government that continues to allow fossil fuel advertising is putting industry profits ahead of our future, and any agency or media outlet that enables climate pollution is complicit in the destruction of a stable climate.

“Sixteen Australian councils, including the City of Sydney, have voted to restrict fossil fuel ads and sponsorships on community land and we ask that others now follow.

“Stopping fossil fuels begins with stopping fossil fuel ads and sponsorships.”

Guterres also attacked fossil-fuel firms for “distorting the truth, deceiving the public and sowing doubt” about climate science and demanded public relations and media companies to cut ties with oil, gas and coal.

“I call on these companies to stop acting as enablers to planetary destruction. Stop taking on new fossil-fuel clients, from today, and set out plans to drop your existing ones. Fossil fuels are not only poisoning our planet – they’re toxic for your brand.”