Environmental campaigners have reacted with anger to the announcement that Norwegian fossil fuel giant Equinor has posted profits of £6.6 billion (USD $8billion) for just the past 3 months.

With extreme weather wreaking havoc across Scotland last week, campaigners are highlighting the link between the companies continuing to push for fossil fuel extraction and the storms and floods made worse by escalating climate breakdown.

Equinor recently received the go-ahead from the UK Government to develop the controversial Rosebank oil field, despite sustained protests and opposition across the political spectrum. In the coming decades the oil from this field could produce the equivalent climate changing pollution to the combined annual emissions of 28 low-income countries.

Equinor is also due to receive a tax break of £2.8 billion to develop the field, meaning that 91% of the costs of development will be covered by the UK public. Campaigners calculated that the same amount of money could cover retrofitting every home in the North East of Scotland with insulation and clean heating systems.

Equinor is also involved in the plan to build an additional gas power plant at Peterhead, a project which developers SSE admit will increase the emissions from what is already Scotland’s biggest single source of pollution. This plant will lock in demand for fossil gas for decades to come.

Equinor is the UK’s largest gas supplier and faced protests after record breaking profits of £62 billion in 2022. The company is majority owned by the Norwegian Government.

Friends of the Earth Scotland climate campaigner Alex Lee said,

“Companies like Equinor are directly responsible for driving climate breakdown through their relentless extraction of oil and gas. The fact that Equinor is still making these enormous profits is adding insult to injury for those people across Scotland who are dealing with the devastation that recent extreme weather has caused.

“The deliberate loophole in the UK Government’s windfall tax means that Equinor will be able to claim back the vast majority of the costs of developing the Rosebank field. This was a political choice to put money in the pockets of Norwegian oil bosses rather than supporting people in the UK by insulating their homes or improving public transport services.

“Equinor is a greedy fossil fuel company as demonstrated by their plans to open the huge Rosebank oil field and their involvement in the plans to increase pollution at the Peterhead gas-fired power station.

“Instead of encouraging big polluters, both governments should be investing in a fast and fair transition to renewable energy, with workers and communities’ needs at its heart.”

Notes to editors

Equinor profit announcement: https://www.equinor.com/news/equinor-third-quarter-2023

Rosebank approval: https://www.nstauthority.co.uk/news-publications/consent-granted-for-rosebank-project/

Briefing on Rosebank field: https://www.stopcambo.org.uk/updates/what-is-the-rosebank-oil-field

Equinor 2022 profits: https://www.equinor.com/news/equinor-fourth-quarter-2022-and-year-end-results#:~:text=For%202022%20the%20adjusted%20earnings,income%20of%20USD%2028.7%20billion

2022 protests about Equinor profits https://www.stopcambo.org.uk/updates/protesters-target-uks-biggest-gas-supplier-equinor-after-announcing-62-billion-in-profits

Peterhead gas power station explainer: https://foe.scot/peterhead-power-station-explained/

SSE admits new Peterhead plant will run at same time as old https://theferret.scot/new-peterhead-gas-plant-run-at-same-time-as-old/

Rosebank oil field’s ‘£2.8billion tax break enough to give 250K Scots a heat pump’ https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/rosebank-oil-fields-28billion-tax-31113816

Equinor’s energy mix revealed to 99% fossil fuels: 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

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.