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UN chief asks wealthy nations to impose windfall taxes on fossil fuel industry

September 21, 2022

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres had just returned from a visit to flooded Pakistan when he stepped before the UN General Assembly to give a speech on Tuesday. Poverty-stricken regions experiencing the most severe climate change impacts, like Pakistan, were front-of-mind when he declared, “Today, I am calling on all developed economies to tax the windfall profits of fossil fuel companies.”

Guterres made it clear how taxing fossil fuel companies could help struggling countries recover, recommending that developed economies convert rocketing oil and gas industry profits into funds to help struggling nations recover. By redirecting funds “to countries suffering loss and damage caused by the climate crisis and to people struggling with rising food and energy prices,” he suggests “polluters must pay” for the damage that reports have shown fossil fuel companies are largely responsible for.

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