Tax fossil fuel profits to fund global warming impacts, Guterres argues

HASToday I call on all developed economies to tax the windfall profits of fossil fuel companies” and to “redirect (these taxes) in two ways: to countries suffering loss and damage caused by the climate crisis, and to populations struggling in the face of rising food and energy prices”said Antonio Guterres.

“Scandalous” profits on “the backs of the poorest”

Fossil fuel companies that “rejoice” profits inflated by the war in Ukraine “should spend less time on advertising to avoid a communication disaster, and more on avoiding a planetary disaster”.

The Secretary General had already denounced a few weeks ago the “greed” big oil and gas companies making profits “scandalous” on “the back of the poorest” thanks to the energy crisis caused by this war, calling on governments to tax them.

But he did not then mention the possibility of redistributing part of these taxes to the countries on the front line facing the impacts of global warming, of which coal, oil and gas are primarily responsible.

This question of “loss and damage” already caused by the multiplication of extreme weather events has become a crucial point in climate negotiations and should be a major issue at the UN COP27 climate conference in Egypt in November. This is in addition to the questions of ambition in the reduction of emissions to hope to respect the Paris agreement, of adaptation to the impacts, and of financing.

“Suicidal war against nature”

At COP26 in Glasgow at the end of 2021, despite pressure from developing countries advocating for specific funding for these losses and damages, rich countries had blocked this request and the meeting had simply given birth to the launch of a “dialogue” until in 2024.

A few days ago, the group of least developed countries, meeting in Dakar, put this claim back on the table, calling for the establishment of a “funding mechanism” to deal with the damage caused by global warming.

It’s high time to get past these endless discussions.denounced Antonio Guterres on Tuesday. Vulnerable countries need action that makes sense.”

Denouncing a world “addict” to fossil fuels, he also called for more investment in renewables. “We have a date with a climate catastrophe”he warned, calling for an end to “our suicidal war against nature”.

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