Equinor profits ‘rubbing salt in wound’ of cost of living crisis
Environmental campaigners have reacted to the announcement that Norwegian oil giant Equinor has made £21billion in profits in the third quarter of this year.
Equinor, which is majority owned by the Norwegian state, is pushing for fossil fuel expansion across the world. They are currently awaiting permission from the UK Government to develop the massive Rosebank oil field, which is the largest undeveloped field in the North Sea containing over 500 million barrels of oil.
Burning the oil from Rosebank would create pollution equal to the annual emissions of the world’s 28 lowest income countries – 700 million people.
Due to a deliberate loophole in the UK Government’s windfall tax on energy companies, Equinor will receive a tax break of over half a billion pounds for developing the Rosebank field.
Climate science is clear that we urgently need to transition away from our broken fossil fuel energy system in order to meet climate targets, and build a system based on renewable energy.
Independent advisors have said that increasing UK supply of oil and gas will have almost no impact on UK bills as prices are set by the international market. However, continued reliance on volatile fossil fuels will leave millions of UK households vulnerable to spikes in their prices.
Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Oil and Gas campaigner Freya Aitchison said:
“The announcement of yet another obscene profit for Equinor rubs salt into the wound of those experiencing the effects of the cost of living crisis. While oil companies continue to make record breaking profits, ordinary people are facing skyrocketing energy bills and millions are being pushed into fuel poverty.
“Equinor’s plans to develop the massive Rosebank oil field fly in the face of climate science and will do nothing to alleviate the cost of living crisis. The oil in Rosebank will be exported and sold on the open market, further inflating Equinor’s massive profits while keeping us locked into volatile fossil fuels.
“The Scottish Government must use the opportunity of its forthcoming Energy Strategy to chart a clear path away from fossil fuels and towards an energy system that is built on clean, reliable renewables. Ministers must listen to the science which tells us that to equitably meet climate targets, fossil fuel extraction needs to be phased out in the next decade.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Equinor Profit Q3 announcement: https://www.equinor.com/news-and-media/q3-2022-press-conference
Rosebank briefing from Stop Cambo: https://www.stopcambo.org.uk/updates/what-is-the-rosebank-oil-field
The UK Committee on Climate Change wrote to the UK energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng in Feb 2022 to say that “We would not expect increased UK extraction to materially affect global oil or gas prices” and “the best approach to reducing consumers’ exposure to fossil fuel prices is to make systematic efforts to reduce UK demand for fossil fuels”
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.