Amidst skyrocketing inflation, massive profits of energy companies ‘unethical’

Massive profits of energy companies: UN chief Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday that skyrocketing energy prices around the world are making the cost of living more complex and tough for hundreds of millions of people, even as the war ravages Ukraine. He said this in a press conference convened about the latest information from the Global Crisis Response Action Group (GCRG) on Food, Energy and Finance.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said major oil and gas companies were reporting record high profits on the one hand, while prices were skyrocketing.

“In the first quarter of this year, the combined profits of the largest energy companies were about $100 billion,” the UN chief said.

In such a situation, he urged the governments of the countries to impose more taxes on these huge profits and use that money, in these very difficult situations, to increase the help and support to the people in weak conditions.

Money availability for green energy
The GCRC was created by the UN chief in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has recently urged the governments of countries to have effective funding to find energy solutions, such as providing protection to communities in vulnerable situations, Availability of public funds for cash transfer and concessional policies.

These include imposing special taxes on large oil and gas companies and advocating for more affordable renewable energy options.

It also states, however, that rising energy prices can exclude developing countries, especially vulnerable communities, from energy markets on a price basis.

Developing countries, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, have been facing the crisis of very costly living conditions, and are also experiencing great difficulties in the availability of affordable energy.

Lack of effective alternatives
The group’s information warned of even greater concern about the potential for fuel panic situations in which only wealthy countries would be able to pay resources for energy availability as prices continue to rise.

“State governments will need financial space to support their vulnerable populations in order to avert worse levels of energy poverty or to avoid losing access to energy altogether.”

The UN chief said, “Developing countries do not lack reasons to invest resources in renewable energy options. Many of those countries are already living with climate crises like hurricanes, floods, and droughts.”

“What they lack are solid, efficient alternatives.”

By increasing the use of renewable energy, 4 million to 7 million deaths due to air pollution could be prevented every year around the world.

By increasing the use of renewable energy, 4 million to 7 million deaths due to air pollution could be prevented every year around the world.
move to renewable energy
This latest information from the group, the landmark Black Sea Grain Export Agreement, allowing export of food to global markets via Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, was signed between the United Nations, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey on July 22. was released shortly after.

And the latest information from the group makes it clear that the war in Ukraine and the resulting global energy crisis are clear indicators that more rapid efforts are needed to move towards energy tolerance and renewable energy.

However, as the UN Secretary-General underlined, policies should be in place that include genuine support and assistance to the people and communities affected by this move towards renewable energy.

The group’s brief emphasizes that all this requires significant global resource investment.

Rebecca Grinspan, Secretary-General of the United Nations Trade and Development Organization – UNCTAD and brief convener of the GCRG, said on this occasion, “We have to accelerate financial and technology transfers to developing countries and energy poor countries of the world.”

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