GREENPEACE activists dressed as Shell board members partied around a burning sign reading “Your Future” at a mock party outside the Shell headquarters today.
It came as the oil giant announced that it made $28.3 billion (£22.4 bn) profit last year, a decrease of 29 per cent from 2022 but amid a cost-of-living crisis while households struggle to pay energy bills.
Greenpeace campaigners said that the oil group should pay some of its profits into a fund agreed upon at Cop28 climate talks last month to help pay for loss and damage caused by climate change.
The group’s action, which saw the smartly dressed execs neck champagne, fan wads of money in the air and dance a conga line around the burning sign, came following a year of record global temperatures where extreme weather linked to the climate crisis wreaked havoc around the world.
Greenpeace UK campaigner Maja Darlington said:
While customers struggle with the cost-of-living crisis, Shell shovels over billions to shareholders and drills for yet more oil and gas, climate disasters are multiplying and hitting hardest those who have done the least to cause the crisis.
It’s time to end the fossil fuel party. It would take the average British worker over 640,000 years to earn as much as Shell did last year.
Our government must make oil companies like Shell stop drilling and start using their immense wealth to pay for the damage they are causing, before all our futures go up in flames.
End Fuel Poverty Coalition co-ordinator Simon Francis hit out at the government for choosing to side with the oil and gas industry, warning that “our energy system is broken.”
He said: “Oil and gas companies continue to post obscene profits at the expense of the British public–millions of whom are spending this winter shivering in cold, damp and mouldy homes.
Shell’s profits may be down from record numbers, but people’s energy bills continue at unaffordable levels, with more and more people being pushed into poverty.
Households have £3 billion of energy debt, pensioners are too afraid to put on their heating despite the cold, and businesses up and down the country are struggling to survive.
Scottish Greens climate spokesman Mark Ruskell said oil giants like Shell are “plunging us into climate chaos,” calling it “absolutely shameful.”