Activists slam Equinor for doubling down on fossil fuel drilling despite net zero claims
Scottish climate activists protested at the Aberdeen offices of Norwegian oil giant Equinor about the company’s AGM committing to further oil and gas drilling. The AGM has been met by protests in Norway, whilst others attended a similar demonstration in London.
Activists set up 100 placards outside Equinor’s offices reading ‘Equinor’s energy is 99.87% fossil fuels’. The activists were exposing the fact Equinor produced only 0.13% of its total energy output from renewables last year.
Free to use images from the action are available: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1syQqCsrKqSHWJVfeT6Q1FPVKUBf0rEoO?usp=sharing
Equinor’s marketing describes them to be a ‘broad energy company’ that intends to be ‘a leading company in the energy transition’ which ‘supports the Paris Agreement’ and has published an Energy Transition Plan to reach Net Zero by 2050. Activists argue that this is not the case given Equinor’s overwhelming focus on fossil fuel production and expansion.
A group of activists also staged a ‘knit in’ protest at Equinor’s Aberdeen offices, peacefully occupying the building’s reception with ‘Stop Rosebank’ signs and flyers.
At the AGM in Stavanger, activist shareholders such as Greenpeace Norway and Grandparents Climate Campaign have lodged motions calling for Equinor to stop drilling for more fossil fuels and make the switch to renewable energy much faster. However, the Board of Directors has recommended that the shareholders vote against all of these proposals, proving their commitment to continued fossil fuel extraction.
Friends of the Earth Scotland’s oil and gas campaigner Freya Aitchison said:
“Equinor’s bosses and shareholders will be using this AGM to congratulate themselves for their greenwashed Energy Transition Plan as well as their massive profits over the last year. But behind their marketing the truth is that all Equinor cares about is drilling for every last drop of oil and gas, no matter what the damage is to people and the planet.
“We are here to tell Equinor that we see through their greenwashing, and we know that almost 100% of their energy output comes from burning dirty, polluting fossil fuels, not from renewable energy as they would like us to believe.
“Aided and abetted by the UK Government, Equinor is also pushing ahead with their plans for the massive Rosebank oil field, which would be catastrophic for the climate, producing huge amounts of climate changing pollution for decades to come.
“We will not give up until Equinor pulls out of the disastrous Rosebank project. For a liveable future, we urgently need a fast and fair transition to a fully renewable energy system, not new investment into dirty fossil fuels.”
The commitment to oil and gas is also apparent in Equinor’s plans to develop the Rosebank oil field west of Shetland. It is the biggest undeveloped field in the North Sea and contains 500 million barrels of oil, making it 3 times the size of the controversial Cambo oil field. Campaigners across the UK and Norway have been putting pressure on Equinor to pull out of the development.
Equinor is due to receive a £3.75 billion tax break from the UK Government for developing Rosebank, due to a loophole in the Energy Profits Levy. This will cover 91% of the costs of developing the field from the public purse.
In 2022, Equinor made record pre-tax profits of £62 billion, and last week announced profits of £9.5 billion for the first quarter of 2023.
Equinor AGM shareholder motions: https://cdn.equinor.com/files/h61q9gi9/global/311b90e18c4c5a268ba339bdaa62a99e3d8327dd.pdf?shareholder-proposals-and-board-response-to-equinors-agm-2023-equinor.pdf
Equinor’s energy mix revealed: https://www.greenpeace.org/norway/nyheter/energi/det-brede-energiselskapet-equinor-er-fortsatt-over-99-prosent-fossilt/
Google translate version https://www-greenpeace-org.translate.goog/norway/nyheter/energi/det-brede-energiselskapet-equinor-er-fortsatt-over-99-prosent-fossilt/?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en-US&_x_tr_pto=wapp
Equinor’s Energy Transition Plan: https://cdn.equinor.com/files/h61q9gi9/global/6a64fb766c58f70ef37807deca2ee036a3f4096b.pdf?energy-transition-plan-2022-equinor.pdf
Equinor’s website describes them as a ‘broad energy company’ that intends to be ‘a leading company in the energy transition’ which ‘supports the Paris Agreement’ https://www.equinor.com/
Briefing about why we must Stop Rosebank: https://www.stopcambo.org.uk/updates/what-is-the-rosebank-oil-field
Equinor Q1 2023 profit announcement: https://www.equinor.com/news/equinor-first-quarter-2023
Friends of the Earth Scotland is:
* Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 73 national member groups, and 5,000 local activist groups.