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UN chief calls on oil and gas firms to face Special taxes, Says Immoral for Oil firms to be profiting from crisis

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for oil and gas companies to face special taxes.

Mr Guterres said it was “immoral” for firms to be profiting from the crisis.

The UN chief’s comments come as surging energy prices sparked by the war in Ukraine push industry profits to new highs.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February has worsened a global shortage of oil and gas, disrupting access to oil and gas from Russia.

While households are grappling with higher energy bills, companies are reaping the benefits.

Four of the biggest energy firms – Exxon, Chevron, Shell, and TotalEnergies – earned nearly $51bn in the most recent quarter – almost double what they made in the same period last year.

“This grotesque greed is punishing the poorest and most vulnerable people while destroying our only common home,” Mr Guterres said.

“I urge all governments to tax these excessive profits, and use the funds to support the most vulnerable people through these difficult times.”

Mr Guterres warned that high energy prices would have wide ranging consequences, as households and governments around the world buckle under the pressure.

“Many developing countries – drowning in debt, without access to finance, and struggling to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic – could go over the brink,” he said. “We are already seeing the warning signs of a wave of economic, social and political upheaval that would leave no country untouched.”

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