Antonio Guterres, secretary general of the UN, has demanded that oil and gas firms pay more taxes.
His remarks come as industrial earnings reach new highs as a result of the rising energy costs brought on by the conflict in Ukraine.
According to Mr. Guterres, it is “immoral” for businesses to be making money from the situation.
The invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February has made the world’s oil and gas deficit worse, blocking access to oil and gas from Russia, a major source, and raising prices.
While consumers struggle with higher energy costs, businesses are benefiting.
Shell’s profits from April to June set a record, while BP just recorded its greatest profit in 14 years.
Exxon, Chevron, Shell, and TotalEnergies, four of the largest energy companies, collectively made about $51 billion in the most recent quarter, nearly twice as much as they did at the same time last year.
The poorest and most vulnerable people are being punished by this cruel avarice, which is also destroying our one shared habitat, according to Mr. Guterres.
I implore all governments to tax these obscene profits and utilize the proceeds to help the most helpless citizens get through these trying times.
The UK slapped a 25 percent “windfall tax” on energy companies last month. The government estimates that this one-time fee would earn around £25 billion to assist offset rising household energy costs.
Other nations, including Italy, have enacted similar regulations.
Nevertheless, despite a windfall tax suggestion from certain members of Congress in the US, French parliamentarians recently rejected such a measure.
Calls for a windfall tax, according to Frank Macchiarola, senior vice president of the American Petroleum Institute, an oil and gas lobbying organization, are misplaced.
“Increasing energy supply and lowering prices for Americans should be the top priorities for policymakers. New taxes on our business will have the exact opposite effect and only serve to deter investment at a time when it is most necessary, “added he.
High energy costs, Mr. Guterres said, would have far-reaching effects as people and governments throughout the world buckled under the strain.
“Many poor nations might tip over the edge,” he said. They are “drowning in debt, lacking access to credit, and fighting to recover from the Covid-19 epidemic.” “A tsunami of economic, social, and political upheaval that will leave no country unscathed” is already beginning to show warning indications,