Climate-wrecking firms make billions in ‘surplus’ profits, new ActionAid report shows

Thirty-six top companies in the fossil fuel industry and their funders made over US$420 billion in ‘surplus’ profits in the 24 months before July 2023, shows a new ActionAid report. 


The report shows that taxing these extraordinary profits, referred to as windfall profits, could generate funds to boost public spending, especially for key areas such as education and climate action. Windfall profits are often attributed to external context changes and are considered a ‘surplus’ above the regular and expected profits. 

A tax of 90% on the windfall profits of these 36 firms could generate as much as US$382 billion in revenue, shows the report launched as world leaders meet at Davos for the World Economic Forum. This amount is almost 20 times more than the US$21 billion provided by donors for climate adaptation in 2021. 

“The scale of profits that fossil fuel companies and their bankers are making in the wake of global crises is truly astounding, especially when compared to the hardships that these crises have brought upon regular people around the world,” says ActionAid Secretary-General Arthur Larok. “Windfall profits taxes make sense. They can bring in significant revenue for climate action and social services, while taxing only the extraordinary corporate profits.”

READ the report