A Modest Proposal: Share of Proceeds From Aramco IPO

12 December 2019

Yesterday, Saudi Aramco, the Saudi state-owned oil company, floated 1.5% of its shares on the country’s stock exchange in the world’s largest Initial Public Offering. The IPO is expected to raise at least US$26 billion for the company, and potentially up to $29b – which is the largest influx of financing for fossil fuels since the Paris Agreement was signed. Aramco is also the largest single corporate source of carbon emissions since 1965.

Here in Madrid, negotiators are stuck on how to finance loss and damage. So here’s a modest proposal: a [2][5]% share of proceeds levied on trading in Aramco and other oil companies’ shares to provide funding for addressing loss and damage in the most vulnerable countries. This would operationalise the Polluter Pays Principle, and directly link financing for loss and damage to the companies most responsible. This is what we call climate justice!

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