Fossil fuel giants posted £42bn profits days before 1.5C report 

Climate spokesperson Mark Ruskell MSP warns about real danger of Labour cosying up to oil and gas industry

Three of the world’s largest oil and gas operators posted profits of £42.7bn just days before dramatic new data on global warming was released.

That illustrates the scale of the challenge pushing them towards renewables, say the Scottish Greens.

The giant sums compare with the entire Scottish Government’s Budget for 2023 - 2024 of £59.7bn to run a country including its efforts to fight the impacts of the climate crisis.

The operators of the controversial Rosebank oil field of Shetland - Equinor - was the latest of the big three to post its net profits of £9.4bn, hard on the heels of BP’s £11bn and Shell’s £22.3bn. 

Scottish Greens climate and energy spokesperson Mark Ruskell MSP said: “If anyone is still confused about why fossil fuel companies are dragging their heels on a just transition, they need only look at their bank balances.

“Three companies - Equinor, Shell and BP - have posted profits which are collectively larger than the budgets of some small nations, notably those most at risk from climate change, and two thirds of our total budget in Scotland.

“Just 24 hours after Equinor’s results, scientists published a report showing average global temperatures breached 1.5C for the first time, and highlighted a particularly alarming rise in how warm our oceans have become. 

“That is simply outrageous. They are being rewarded for striking the match while we are left holding the jerry can and yet it never seems to be enough. They want to keep on drilling, exploring, until they have burned every last drop. 

“We are championing a just transition for the energy sector, warmer greener homes and a societal wide change in our consumer and commuting habits, yet it is the public and governments footing the bill to make this happen.

“These three companies, and many more like them, are raking in vast profits without a care about the damage being done.

“The UK government is failing the public by not doing enough to ensure that they are forced to pay more tax on their profits which could be ploughed into tackling so many of the problems we face.

“Meanwhile Labour has reversed on climate pledge after climate pledge and are rolling back on their commitment on £28bn a year green investment. We fear they will be next to cosy up to oil and gas.

“Only the Green movement is standing up for climate, and we will continue to use all our influence to make sure climate voices are heard.”


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