The United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres, has called it “immoral” that oil and gas companies are making huge profits in the midst of the current energy crisis, and has urged governments to impose taxes on “excessive profits” to allocate these funds to those most in need.
“It is immoral that oil and gas companies are making record profits from this energy crisis at the expense of the poorest people and communities and at a huge cost to the climate (…) I urge all governments to tax these excessive profits and use the funds to support the most vulnerable people in these difficult times,” Guterres said Wednesday at a conference at United Nations headquarters.
In the presentation of the report ‘Global Crisis Response Group’ on energy, the UN secretary general has detailed that the largest energy companies have raised during the first quarter of this year about 98 billion euros (100 billion dollars).
For this reason, he has recommended “people around the world” to send “a clear message” to the fossil fuel industry and its financiers, warning that “this grotesque greed is punishing the poorest and most vulnerable people, while destroying our only common home, the planet.”
Moreover, within the energy report’s recommendations for managing the current energy crisis, Guterres has noted that all countries — especially developed countries, must manage their energy demand. “Energy conservation, promotion of public transport and nature-based solutions are essential components of that,” he has remarked.
He has also stressed the importance of accelerating the transition to renewable energy, arguing that in most cases it is cheaper than fossil fuels.
In this sense, the UN secretary general has launched several proposals to “unleash the renewable energy revolution”, a plan that would require governments to expand and diversify their raw material chains and renewable energy technologies, make storage technologies public goods, remove red tape from the process, and change fossil fuel subsidies to support vulnerable households with investments in renewable energy.
Finally, Guterres has assured that, for progress to be made in the energy transition, it is important to increase private financing for projects that are committed to achieving zero emissions.