Fossil fuels: climate campaigners strike back as Centrica and Shell report billions in profits

Activists have accused fossil fuel giants of "partying like there’s no tomorrow", while ordinary people pick up the tab

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A spoof advertising billboard has appeared outside Shell's London headquarters - as climate activists take aim at the fossil fuel giant's £4 billion profit this year while the world feels the heat of manmade climate change.

This comes as British Gas owner Centrica revealed earnings at its retail supplier business soared by nearly 900% - to £969 million in the six months to 30 June. While Shell announced its profits had fallen, it still raked in £3.9 billion over the last quarter.

The billboard, put up by campaigners from Greenpeace UK, features a photo of a firefighter battling to contain one of the devastating wildfires in Greece. Southern Europe has been gripped by back-to-back heatwaves for much of July, which have caused widespread fires that have seen tens of thousands of locals and tourists alike evacuated.

The sign is emblazoned with Shell’s logo, with the slogan “our profit, your loss”, and Greenpeace said it aimed to draw attention to "the oil and gas industry’s responsibility for extreme weather linked to the climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels".

Greenpeace protesters erect a giant spoof billboard outside Shell's London headquarters (Photo: Chris Ratcliffe/Greenpeace)Greenpeace protesters erect a giant spoof billboard outside Shell's London headquarters (Photo: Chris Ratcliffe/Greenpeace)
Greenpeace protesters erect a giant spoof billboard outside Shell's London headquarters (Photo: Chris Ratcliffe/Greenpeace)

A rapid study released by World Weather Attribution this week found the record-breaking heatwaves across Europe, North America, and Asia would have been almost impossible without climate change, as scientists warned they will get hotter and happen more often until the world stops burning fossil fuels.

Greenpeace campaigner Maja Darlington accused fossil fuel giants like Shell of "partying like there’s no tomorrow", as ordinary people around the world were "being forced to pick up the tab."

Greenpeace is calling for Shell and other oil giants to be made to contribute to the global Loss and Damage fund agreed at COP27 - which will provide financial help to the countries most impacted by the effects of climate change.

Ms Darlington called for the UK government to "find its backbone", as government look set to water down green policies it fears might be unpopular - after a narrow by-election loss was attributed to an environmental policy.

“It is blazingly clear that global leadership is needed to end this fossil fuel free-for-all, but instead the UK government is flip-flopping on its climate commitments and further enriching the oil giants with new fossil fuel developments."

Georgia Whitaker, Greenpeace's climate campaigner, added that it was "galling" for British households to see Centrica’s profits increase by nearly 900% during a cost of living crisis.

“Ofgem now has the remit to push the UK towards net zero, but we need this UK government to wake up to what voters care about - measures to bring bills down, and to make polluters like Centrica and Shell pay for this chaos they’re causing."

A Just Stop Oil spokesperson told NationalWorld the government was "criminally" failing Britons.

"They are doing nothing to stop the profiteering by British Gas, owned by Centrica, and fossil fuel giants off the backs of ordinary people struggling to pay for fuel and food. We must stop all new oil and gas projects and transition urgently to fossil free energy."

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