Taxing Excess Oil and Gas Profits for Climate Change Loss and Damage

February 2023
ELR 10104
Myanna Dellinger

It is beyond reasonable dispute that climate change is already taking a toll on nations around the world. In supranational legal and economic discussions, it is also well known that many nations that already suffer great injury from rising temperatures are typically not the ones who caused the problem. The culprits, historically, are developed nations. Unless it is the case that developed nations simply do not care about the problems we have caused for less financially able nations—an argument that, hopefully, no one is willing to make or accept—somebody has to pay for the climate change damage bestowed by rich countries on emerging economies. Recently, a multilateral agreement known as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)/Group of Twenty (G20) Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) was adopted that allows for nations suffering financial injury to levy a tax on products and services consumed in their territories, but sold by companies headquartered in other jurisdictions, as is often the case in today’s globalized and often online market. This Comment argues that similarly, nations could adopt a multilateral agreement imposing a tax on oil and gas companies earning “excessive profits.”

Myanna Dellinger is Executive Director of the EinStrong Foundation, and was a tenured law professor teaching business law and public international law for a decade.

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Taxing Excess Oil and Gas Profits for Climate Change Loss and Damage

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