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UN chief slams ‘excessive’ profits of oil, gas firms

Antonio Guterres said ‘it is immoral for oil and gas companies to be making record profits from this energy crisis’ (FILE PHOTO)

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for taxation on windfall profits of oil and gas companies to ease the impact of the global energy crisis on the most vulnerable people, reports Reuters.

“It is immoral for oil and gas companies to be making record profits from this energy crisis on the back of the poorest people and communities and at a massive cost to the climate,” said Mr Guterres at the launch of the third report of his Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance.

The combined profits of the largest energy companies in the first quarter of this year are close to $100 billion, he noted.

He urged all governments to tax these excessive profits and use the funds to support the most vulnerable people through the current difficult times.

All countries, and especially developed countries, must manage energy demand. Conserving energy, promoting public transport and nature-based solutions are essential components of that, he said.

There is also a need to accelerate the transition to renewables, which in most cases are cheaper than fossil fuels. At the same time, private and multilateral finance for the green energy transition must be scaled up, he said.

Every country is part of this energy crisis, and all countries are paying attention to what others are doing.

There is no place for hypocrisy, said the UN chief.

Mr Guterres said the energy crisis is a global issue, expressing the hope that the recommendations in the report could help ease the energy crisis.

“I think the question is global. It has to do with the availability of the different sources of energy globally. And for that, I believe the measures that we have announced should lead the markets to stabilisation and the reduction of prices,” he said.