With long, cold winter ahead, a meaningful windfall tax is more urgent than ever

With clocks set to go back this weekend, and a long, cold winter ahead, the Scottish Greens have warned that a meaningful windfall tax on fossil fuel giants is more urgent than ever.

This week, Shell reported its second highest quarterly profit on record, with global profits reaching £8.2bn between July and September. Yet it paid no windfall tax on those profits.

As Chancellor, Rishi Sunak introduced a so-called windfall tax on energy company profits. But it was totally unfit for purpose. It was far too low and it included a discount for companies who undertook new oil and gas exploration.

The Scottish Greens energy and environment spokesperson, Mark Ruskell MSP, said: 

"Without fundamental action from Westminster, this will be a long, hard winter for millions of households and families across Scotland and beyond.

"This is one of the wealthiest societies in the world, yet, as winter bites, the Tories are introducing cuts while many are already being forced to choose between heating and starving.

“Meanwhile, the Oil and gas company executives are laughing their way to the bank while profiting from the misery, which is having a devastating impact on household bills and the world around us.”

“It is totally unsustainable. The UN has warned that even if our current emission targets are met it will still result in a catastrophic environmental breakdown.

"The climate crisis is the biggest crisis we face, but Downing Street is still wedded to the same failed economic model and the destructive policies that brought us to this point, and is awarding new oil and gas exploration licences. This is the worst kind of climate vandalism. 

“We need a full scale restructuring of our economy, and an urgent and major shift away from fossil fuels to renewable energy. 

"One step we could take very quickly, which could make a big difference and fund the transition, would be a proper meaningful windfall tax on the obscene profits that are being made. 

“The money raised could be used to deliver real relief for people here and now, while supporting a major investment in renewable energy and allowing us to finally break the link between fossil fuel prices and household bills.

“It has to be a real tax, not like the one that Rishi Sunak introduced as Chancellor, which was totally unfit for purpose. It was far too low, and it actually rewarded companies for new drilling operations.

“We are at one minute to midnight. It is time for the UK government to finally step-up and take the climate action that is needed to reduce bills and accelerate our pathway towards a just transition away from fossil fuels.”