‘Polluters must pay’: UN chief calls on developed economies to tax on fossil fuel companies

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Climate crisis the defining issue of our time confronting it must be the first priority of every government and multilateral organization

Geneva: UN secretary General António Guterres said it was ‘high time to put fossil fuel producers, investors and enablers on notice’ and called for a global windfall tax to support countries struggling with climate disasters and rising living costs.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Guterres said the climate crisis also need attention and the “polluters must pay.”

He urged rich countries to tax windfall profits of fossil fuel companies and use that money to help countries harmed by the climate crisis and people who are struggling with rising food and energy prices.

“The poorest and most vulnerable – those who contributed least to this crisis – are bearing its most brutal impacts. Meanwhile, the fossil fuel industry is feasting on hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies and windfall profits while household budgets shrink and our planet burns.,” he stated.

“We have a rendezvous with climate disaster, he said, recalling his recent solidarity visit to flood-ravaged Pakistan, “where I saw with my own eyes…that one-third of the country is submerged by a monsoon on steroids.”

The world is addicted to fossil fuels and it’s time for an intervention, declared the UN chief, stressing that: “We need to hold fossil fuel companies and their enablers to account,” from banks to private equity, and asset managers that continue to invest and underwrite carbon pollution.

“The global greenhouse gas emissions need to be slashed by 45 per cent by 2030 to have any hope of reaching net zero by 2050,” he said, adding that emissions are going up at record levels – on course to a 14 per cent increase this decade.

Calling the climate crisis the defining issue of our time, he said confronting it must be the first priority of every government and multilateral organization.

“And yet climate action is being put on the back burner – despite overwhelming public support around the world. Global greenhouse gas emissions need to be slashed by 45 per cent by 2030 to have any hope of reaching net zero by 2050,” he said, adding that emissions are going up at record levels – on course to a 14 per cent increase this decade.

“We have a rendezvous with climate disaster, he said, recalling his recent solidarity visit to flood-ravaged Pakistan, “where I saw with my own eyes…that one-third of the country is submerged by a monsoon on steroids.”

Planet Earth, Mr. Guterres said, is “a victim of scorched earth policies … and we ain’t seen nothing yet” because the hottest summers of today could be the coolest summers of tomorrow. Moreover, The G20 emits 80 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.

Touching upon other issues , the UN Chief said the world leaders that “Our world is in big trouble. Divides are growing deeper; inequalities are growing wider; challenges are spreading father… we need hope… we need action across the board.”

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