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UN chief slams ‘excessive’ profits by oil and gas firms amid war in Ukraine

#chief #slams #excessive #profits #oil #gas #firms #war #Ukraine

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday accused oil and gas companies of making “excessive” profits from the energy crisis sparked by the war in Ukraine, calling it “immoral”.

Guterres, who released a UN report on the consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, called on governments to tax corporate profits.

“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 massive cost to the climate,” the UN chief told reporters.

“I call on all governments to tax these excessive profits and use the funds to support the most vulnerable people during these trying times,” Guterres said.

“And I urge people everywhere to send a clear message to the fossil fuel industry and its financiers that this grotesque greed is punishing the poorest and most vulnerable while simultaneously destroying our only common home, the planet,” he said.

According to Guterres, the combined earnings of the largest energy companies were nearly $100 billion in the first quarter of the year.

BP, ExxonMobil, Chevron and Shell also reported huge gains in the second quarter as oil and gas prices soared.

The UN chief said that by the end of the year 345 million people in 82 countries will be “severely food insecure” or “at high risk of food insecurity”, an increase of 47 million due to the effects of the war in Ukraine.

Guterres warned that “many developing countries are drowning in debt, lacking access to finance and struggling to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and could be walking over the abyss”.

“We are already seeing the warning signs of a wave of economic, social and political upheaval that will leave no country untouched,” he said.

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