Well, oil be: booming BP backtracks on climate ambitions

JUST days after Shell announced the highest earnings of its 115-year history, fellow fossil fuel giant BP has admitted doubling its own annual profits.

Last year was a boom one for the oil giants: a sharp hike in gas prices linked to the Russian invasion of Ukraine boosted their earnings beyond expectations. Shell made over £40bn; BP has announced a “modest” £23bn.

Deepwater Horizon, BP profits illustration
The Deepwater Horizon rig, operated by BP, on fire in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Photo: US Coast Guard, Public Domain

Greenpeace UK accuses the oil companies of “making gold from vast suffering”.

Perhaps to capitalise further on the ill-wind from Ukraine that continues to blow, BP says it will now scale-back its climate ambitions. It is reportedly walking-back recent emissions pledges and plans to ramp-up oil and gas production over the next seven years.

The annual profits, seen by critics as “obscene”, have led to renewed calls for a tougher windfall tax as the corporations enrich themselves from rising prices — and ordinary households and smaller businesses struggle to cope.

The Labour party last week asked for Britain’s energy profits levy to be revamped to factor-in the exceptional earnings.