Oil companies take profits amid global crisis ‘immorally’

United Nations (UN) Secretary General António Guterres said it was “immoral” to name record oil and gas profits amid the global energy crisis.

Guterres The Food, Energy and Finance Global Crisis Response Team (GCRG) has warned that soaring energy prices are exacerbating an existential cost-of-living crisis for hundreds of millions of people as the war in Ukraine continues.

The secretary-general said that despite this worrying situation, major oil and gas companies have recently reported record profits, which Guterres, who began the letter, described as “immoral”.

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“The combined profit of the largest energy companies in the first quarter of this year is approaching $100 billion. I call on governments to tax this excess profit and use the funds to support the most vulnerable during these difficult times.”

The third GCRG review encourages governments to find the most efficient ways to finance energy solutions.

These include government-funded cash transfers and rebate policies to protect vulnerable communities around the world, including through contingency taxes on major oil and gas companies.

At the same time, the summary calls for a switch to renewable energy sources.

This follows the landmark Black Sea Grain Initiative, which was agreed between Russia, Turkey and Ukraine under the auspices of the United Nations on July 22, paving the way for the first batch of grain from Ukraine to leave the port of Odessa on August 1.

There is growing concern that rising energy prices could force many developing countries, especially the most vulnerable communities, out of energy markets, the UN said.

He added that these countries are already bearing the brunt of the cost-of-living crisis, facing major challenges in accessing energy and making progress on sustainable development in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“More worryingly, there could be a potential ‘fuel fight’ where only the countries paying the highest prices can access energy,” the briefing warns, adding that governments therefore need fiscal space to support their most vulnerable populations. to avoid deteriorating levels of energy poverty or total loss of access to energy.”

The letter makes it clear that the war in Ukraine and the resulting global energy crisis are a stark reminder of the need for energy sustainability and a stronger push towards renewables.

According to the brief, an ambitious transition to renewable energy, which includes skills training, could create an additional 85 million jobs in renewable energy, efficiency and other energy transition-related sectors by 2030.

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