Called in response to the UN secretary-general’s statement calling on developed countries “to tax the windfall profits of fossil fuel companies,” Canada’s environment minister said his government was putting in place different mechanisms for oil companies to pay their fair share.
In a speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the climate crisis “a textbook case of moral and economic injustice,” noting that the G20 emits 80 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions.
“Today, I call on all developed countries to tax the windfall profits of fossil fuel companies. These funds should be returned, on the one hand, to countries where the climate crisis is causing loss and damage, and, on the other hand, to people who are struggling by rising food and energy prices,” Guterres said.
On the morning of September 22, The Canadian Press asked Canada’s Environment Minister to comment on the UN secretary-general’s exit, but Guilbeault expressed no interest in “taxing windfall profits” of oil companies.
“I think the Secretary General was also talking about the fact that these companies need to do their part in the fight against climate change. That is why, in Canada, we have implemented carbon pricing. We fought all the way to the Supreme Court to be able to set up this mechanism and it is in place,” said the minister during a teleconference with the media to conclude his participation in climate week in New York.
Guilbeault added that his government has put in place “many mechanisms” such as regulation to reduce methane emissions.
Canada has committed to reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by at least 75% by 2030 compared to 2012 levels.
“We have a number of existing programs as well as many regulations under development. We agree that polluters must pay their fair share. We also agree that we need to ensure a just transition. Our government is working hard to reduce emissions, protect our environment and support Canadians and industries on their path to a carbon-neutral country,” the Environment Minister’s office said Thursday afternoon.
Oil companies have reaped windfall profits this year due to soaring energy prices linked to the conflict in Ukraine.
Canada’s Cenovus Energy, for example, posted net income of $2.4 billion last July, more than ten times higher than last year in its most recent quarter.
At the same time, Suncor reported earnings of $3.99 billion in the second quarter, more than four and a half times higher than the $868 million for the same period in 2021.