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UN chief calls for a tax on profits of fossil fuel companies

The U.N. Secretary General called for a tax on profits of fossil fuel companies to help pay for the fight against global warming.

He spoke from the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

“Already this year, a brutal heatwave has baked Asia with record temperatures, shriveling crops, closing schools and killing people. Cities from New Delhi to Bamako to Mexico City are scorching….here in the U.S., savage storms have destroyed communities and lives.”

“We have seen drought disasters declared across southern Africa, and the extreme rates flood the Arabian Peninsula, East Africa and Brazil.”

Guterres appealed to media and tech companies to stop taking advertising from its biggest players, as has been done in some places with the tobacco industry.

During his speech on World Environment Day, he repeated his concerns about subsidies paid out in many countries, which help keep prices low for consumers.

“Climate change is the mother of all stealth taxes paid by everyday people and vulnerable countries and communities,” he said. “Meanwhile, the godfathers of climate chaos, the fossil fuel industry, rake in record profits and feast off trillions in taxpayer funded subsidies.”

The U.N. chief reiterated the need to reduce global emissions of carbon dioxide by 9% each year to 2030 for the 1.5-degree Celsius target to be kept alive.

He called on advanced economies in the G20 group of countries — who are holding a summit in Brazil next month — to take the lead.

“We cannot accept a future where the rich are protected in air-conditioned bubbles, while the rest of humanity is lashed by lethal weather in unlivable lands,” Guterres said.


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