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    UN chief urges taxes on excessive oil and gas profits

Summary

The industry argues that such moves sap investment and undermine future energy security.

by: NGW

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UN chief urges taxes on excessive oil and gas profits

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres on August 3 called on governments to impose taxes on the excessive profits of oil and gas companies as the world struggles with sky-high energy costs.

"It is immoral for oil and gas companies to be making record profits from this energy crisis on the backs of the poorest people and communities," he said in a speech at an international forum. 

These profits, which he said would amount to $100bn in the first quarter of this year, should instead be used to support vulnerable communities. 

"This grotesque greed is punishing the poorest and most vulnerable people while destroying our only home," Guterres said, while also urging governments to expand investment and support for renewables.

The UK notably imposed a windfall tax on oil and gas profits earlier this year, in a move that the North Sea industry has warned will undermine future investment and undermine UK energy security in the long term. In the US, the Biden administration has also proposed taking such a step, as has the European Commission, at a time when the EU is grappling with an unprecedented spike in gas and power costs, and the looming risk of a cut-off in Russian gas supply ahead of winter.