Major energy companies are investing the equivalent of 5 percent of their record profits in green projects, an analysis by Channel 4 News, the flagship news program on UK broadcaster Channel 4, has found.
Channel 4 News analyzed the accounts of four of Europe’s biggest oil and gas companies – BP, Shell, TotalEnergies and Equinor. In the first six months of this year, they made a total of more than $88 billion in pre-tax profits.
BP invested just over $356 million in renewables and ‘low carbon’ in the first half of 2022 – equivalent to just 2.5 percent of its $14.5 billion in profits. By comparison, it invested $4.5 billion in new oil and gas projects — more than 10 times its low-carbon investments.
Shell invested the equivalent of 6.3 percent of its $20.3 billion in profits in low-carbon energy, investing nearly three times as much in oil and gas.
Channel 4’s analysis also found that all four companies were investing more in fossil fuels than in renewables and low-carbon energy.
BP, Shell and Equinor only publish figures for investment in renewables alongside what they classify as ‘low carbon’ energy – which can include more contested non-renewable energy technologies.
“What this shows is that their investment in renewables is a very small part of their overall investment, which is still very focused on oil and gas.”
“In the UK we have no control, no matter how much oil and gas we produce domestically, over the price we pay for it. And at the end of the day, we’re in an energy affordability crisis,” Tess Khan, of green energy campaign group Uplift, told Channel 4 News.
BP is planning up to $6 billion in low-carbon investment by 2030. Shell says it will invest $24-30 billion in UK energy over the next decade, more than 75 percent of it in energy low carbon.
TotalEnergies says 25 percent of its investment will be in renewables by 2025. Equinor aims to have more than 50 percent of its investment in renewables and low carbon by 2030.
It is worth noting that all four companies told Channel 4 News that they will increase their investment in renewables.
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