Brown said that states such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Norway benefited from a "lottery style bonanza" last year, as the price of oil soared.
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said that countries which made ‘staggering’ profits from the increase in the price of oil, should pay a global windfall tax to help poorer nations combat climate change.
Brown said that states such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Norway benefited from a “lottery style bonanza” last year, as the price of oil soared.
The former Prime Minister made the comments ahead of the Cop28 summit in Dubai later this year, saying that a levy would boost prospects of a deal on a climate fund for poorer countries.
Highlighting how petro-states had recorded ‘almost unimaginable profits’ from the surge in oil prices, Brown said that global oil and gas revenues had soared from $1.5tn (£1.2tn) before the Covid pandemic to an unprecedented $4tn (£3.3tn).
He said: “Petro-states have recorded almost unimaginable profits from the rise in oil price in recent years.
“Pre-Covid, global oil and gas revenues were, according to the International Energy Association (IEA) running at 1.5 trillion dollars a year (£1.2 trillion) – in 2022, they soared to an unprecedented 4 trillion dollars (£3.3 trillion).
“To put these extraordinary figures into context, 4 trillion dollars is 20 times the entire global aid budget. It is an income so big that it exceeds the entire GDP of the United Kingdom.
“These producer states have done literally nothing to earn these extra profits. It represents one of the biggest-ever transfers of wealth from poor to rich nations.
“I am therefore calling on these states which have benefited so much to contribute to a new global windfall levy to help the fight against climate change.”
“Given that the high price of oil and gas has been the principal reason why an additional 141 million people have been pushed into extreme poverty, it is the very least they could do.”
Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward