EU should tax all crisis-profiteer companies, not just energy companies says Oxfam

Publié: 7th septembre 2022

Today, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, proposed the introduction of a cap on revenues of companies producing electricity with low costs and a solidarity contribution from fossil fuel companies. The revenues from these unexpected profits will be directed to people and businesses to help them adapt to the recent increase in energy prices as well as to invest in clean home-grown energy sources.

In response, Chiara Putaturo, Oxfam EU’s tax expert, said:    

“Today's announcement is a step forward but only addresses a part of the problem. We need a windfall tax that applies to all companies profiteering from the crisis. 

“In the last two and a half years, big multinationals from a variety of sectors such as pharma, big tech, energy and food have raked in enormous profits. Meanwhile, inflation is up and pushing more and more people into poverty. Revenues from a broad windfall tax will make sure that it is not the poorest who are paying the highest price.”  

Notes aux rédactions


  • Oxfam experts are available for comment and background briefings.   
  • Oxfam will publish a media brief on windfall taxes on Friday, 9 September in advance of the EU emergency meeting of energy ministers. Please reach out for a copy. 
  • Oxfam’s report Profiting from Pain shows how food, pharma, oil and tech companies are profiteering from the crisis. 
  • The fortunes of food and energy billionaires have risen by $453 billion in the last two years, equivalent to $1 billion every two days.  
  • Five of the largest energy companies (BP, Shell, Total Energies, Exxon and Chevron) are together making $2,600 profit every second. 
  • The pandemic has created 40 new pharmaceutical billionaires and there are now 62 new food billionaires. 
  • In November 2021 the People Vaccine Alliance, which Oxfam is part of, estimated that Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna will make pre-tax profits of $34 billion in 2021 between them. The monopolies these companies hold have produced five new billionaires during the pandemic, with a combined net wealth of $35.1 billion.  
  • In September 2020, Oxfam estimated that a temporary tax on excess profits made by the 32 global corporations that have profited the most during the pandemic could have raised $104bn in 2020, enough to provide unemployment protection for all workers, and financial support for all children and elderly people in the poorest countries. The five ‘GAFAM’ tech firms (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft) alone accounted for $46 billion in excess pandemic profits in September 2020.  
  • In March this year, the European Commission published guidelines for EU countries on a windfall tax on energy companies.


Jade Tenwick | Brussels, Belgium | | mobile +32 473 56 22 60