“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,” said the UN chief António Guterres, adding that oil and gas companies were indulging in “grotesque greed” while making profits.
Guterres went a step further and urged governments worldwide to tax the companies making “excessive profits” and to use the funds to support those communities who need it at this time.
The UN chief’s strong statement comes as British oil giant BP’s net profit zoomed to $9.3 billion in the three months until June amid surge in oil and gas prices due to the Ukraine war. Shell had earlier showed a fivefold surge in net profit racking up $18 billion as French company TotalEnergies also raked in nearly $6 billion.
US giants ExxonMobil and Chevron also registered record gains last week. Gas prices have surged after the Russian invasion as the EU has imposed stringent sanctions on Putin’s regime. Russia has turned off gas supplies to several European nations with Germany bracing for a tough winter.
Last week Russia’s Gazprom suspended gas deliveries to Latvia amid the energy crisis in Europe. The UK government had earlier imposed a windfall tax on BP and Shell as inflations and energy prices shot to record levels.
Guterres said that developing countries have been living with climate crises while some developed countries had introduced “universal subsidies at gas stations” without naming the nations.