SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt - Small island nations suffering the brunt of climate change want Big Oil to pay for mounting damage from ocean storms and sea-level rise, Antigua's prime minister told delegates at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt on Tuesday.
The comments by Gaston Browne kicked off the second day of speeches from heads of state and government at the two-week conference in the seaside resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh.
"The oil and gas industry continues to earn almost 3 billion United States dollars daily in profits," Browne said, speaking on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States.
"It is about time that these companies are made to pay a global carbon tax on their profits as a source of funding for loss and damage. Profligate producers of fossil fuels have benefited from extortionate profits at the expense of human civilization. While they are profiting, the planet is burning."
Senegal's President Macky Sall told the conference poor developing nations in Africa were also insisting on increased funding for adaptation to worsening climate change, and would resist calls for an immediate shift away from fossil fuels that could drive economic growth.
"Let's be clear, we are in favor of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. But we Africans cannot accept that our vital interests be ignored," he said.
(Writing by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Katy Daigle and Janet Lawrence)