Shell and BP among oil firms under scrutiny for renewable energy claims

Shell and BP have come under scrutiny for alleged greenwashing practises regarding the amount of renewable and low-carbon energy they produce.

The study by Greenpeace scrutinised the 2022 annual reports of 12 European oil giants to assess their claims regarding renewable and low-carbon energy production. The analysis revealed that both Shell and BP generated a mere 0.02% and 0.17% of their energy from renewable sources, respectively, in 2022. Furthermore, the research found that the investments made by these companies in green energy were significantly lower than those allocated to fossil fuels during the same period.

The report highlighted the stark contrast between the proclaimed renewable energy commitments and the companies’ actual practises. Greenpeace pointed out that these oil majors extensively featured offshore wind and solar energy in their annual reports and marketing materials, suggesting a commitment to sustainability. However, the investments made in these domains paled in comparison to their fossil fuel ventures. BP directed 97% of its investments towards fossil fuels, while 91% of Shell’s investments followed the same path.

The study accused these companies of using vague sustainability goals and misleading information to create an impression of progress. BP, for instance, has been promoting its renewable ambitions for years but fails to provide concrete figures for its wind and solar power generation in its 2022 reports. The analysis further revealed that while Shell touted a “renewable capacity” of 6.4 gigawatts, a closer examination showed that only 2.2 gigawatts were actually operational by the end of 2022.

Greenpeace’s findings underlined that these oil companies continue to derive 99.7% of their energy from fossil fuels on average, even as they pledge to achieve “net zero” emissions by 2050. The report urged European governments to implement stricter regulations, impose taxes on fossil fuel profits, and develop detailed strategies for transitioning away from oil and gas. The environmental group emphasised that without robust regulatory measures, these corporations are unlikely to change their practises voluntarily.

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