The Secretary General of the UN Antonio Guterres denounced this Wednesday, August 3 the “greed” big oil and gas companies making profits “scandalous” on “the back of the poorest” thanks to the crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, calling on governments to tax them.
“The truth is that we are seeing these excessive, outrageous profits from the oil and gas industries at a time when we are all losing money”launched Antonio Guterres during a press conference on the occasion of the publication of the third UN report on the global consequences of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
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“It is immoral that oil and gas companies are making record profits from this energy crisis, on the backs of the poorest people and communities, at a massive cost to the climate”.
“France must tax energy superprofits”
So “I call on all governments to tax these excessive profits, and use these funds to support the most vulnerable in these difficult times”he added, betting that such a decision would undoubtedly be ” popular “.
He revealed the profits made in the first quarter of 2022 by the hydrocarbon majors at nearly $100 billion. With the rise in oil and gas prices, BP, ExxonMobile, Chevron, Shell and TotalEnergies also announced huge profits in the second quarter.
“This ridiculous greed punishes the poorest and most vulnerable, while destroying our only common home, the planet”insisted Antonio Guterres.
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“Many developing countries are drowning in debt”
the previous assessment since June, “the impacts of the purchasing power crisis are being felt more deeply and more widely across the world”, says the report. He recalls in particular that by the end of 2022, 345 million people could find themselves in a situation of food insecurity in 82 countries, or 47 million more because of this war.
“Many developing countries are drowning in debt, without access to finance, struggling to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, and could tip over the edge”warned Antonio Guterres, noting “harbingers of a wave of economic, social and political revolts that could spare no country”.
TotalEnergies earns a record $5.7 billion profit in the second quarter on the back of oil prices
In this context, the report, which focuses more specifically on the “major energy crisis”calls on governments to identify the most vulnerable populations and allow them access to energy ” affordable “.
To deal with this crisis without calling into question commitments to limit global warming, it calls on governments in particular to take measures to reduce energy demand (heating and air conditioning, reducing air transport, renovating buildings, etc. ) and to accelerate the development of renewable energies.