The secretary-general of the United Nations, António Guterres, has condemned oil and gas companies for taking advantage of the rising price of crude oil to increase their earnings in the first quarter of 2022.
Combined profits of some of the largest energy companies, including Chevron, TotalEnergies, Shell, and Exxon, had hit $100 billion in Q1 this year, almost double the amount made during the same period last year – raising questions and criticism of the oil industry.
In a statement reacting to the significant turnover, Guterres said the earnings are immoral, and should be excessively taxed by governments across Nations for the benefit of the poor and vulnerable people.
He explained that the oil and gas companies profit from the energy crisis on the backs of the poorest people and communities. Guterres also hinted that the profit comes at a cost to the climate.
“The combined profits of the largest energy companies in the first quarter of this year are close to $100 billion.” Guterres said, adding, “I urge all governments to tax these excessive profits and use the funds to support the most vulnerable people through these difficult times.”
The secretary-general further stated that, “And I urge people everywhere to send a clear message to the fossil fuel industry and their financiers that this grotesque greed is punishing the poorest and most vulnerable people while destroying our only common home, the planet.”
Shortage of oil had hiked the cost of the commodity, with the price rising and standing above $100 in the last six months. The scarcity of oil and gas had been caused by the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, which is taking place in the territory of the latter.
This had increased the cost of living in underdeveloped, developing and developed countries, and threatening starvation in vulnerable countries, as Guterres stated, “Household budgets everywhere are feeling the pinch from high food, transport and energy prices, fueled by climate breakdown and war.
“This threatens a starvation crisis for the poorest households and severe cutbacks for those on average incomes,”
According to the UN boss, said, “Many developing countries are drowning in debt, without access to finance, and struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and could go over the brink.
“We are already seeing the warning signs of a wave of economic, social and political upheaval that would leave no country untouched.”