Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, wants oil and gas giants to pay for damage from climate change through a global carbon tax on their profits.
Speaking on behalf of the 39-nation Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) at the United Nations Climate Conference (COP27), he claimed that “profligate producers of fossil fuels have benefited from extortionate profits at the expense of human civilisation”.
He added that “while they are profiting, the planet is burning”.
Browne contended that while these companies rack up multibillion-dollar profits from using fossil fuels, which is a major contributor to global warming, small island nations like his and others in the Caribbean that have contributed virtually nothing to total emissions are suffering.
He pointed out that in the first half of this year, six fossil fuel companies alone made nearly US$71 billion in profits which was “more than enough money to cover the costs of major climate damage in developing nations”.