UN Chief Slams ‘Grotesque Greed’ of Oil, Gas Companies

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres slammed what he called the “grotesque greed” of oil and gas companies that profit amid an energy crisis.

“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 and at a massive cost to the climate,” Guterres said in a press conference in New York on Aug. 3 as he released the UN energy crisis report.

Guterres said that the largest energy companies in the world earned a profit of close to $100 billion in the first quarter of the year.

“This grotesque greed is punishing the poorest and most vulnerable people while destroying our only common home, the planet,” Guterres said, urging governments to tax the “excessive” profits to support vulnerable people.

Guterres blamed the Russian invasion of Ukraine and climate change for fueling the energy crisis, as well as food supply issues and inflation.

Guterres urged governments to allocate part of the windfall taxes to accelerate the transition to renewable energy sources.

“Every country is part of this energy crisis, and all countries are paying attention to what others are doing. There is no place for hypocrisy,” Guterres said.

“Developing countries don’t lack reasons to invest in renewables. Many of them are living with the severe impacts of the climate crisis, including storms, wildfires, floods, and droughts. What they lack are concrete, workable options,” Guterres further said.

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