ENI dividends, Greenpeace Italy and ReCommon: “Outrageous that oil and gas companies make record-breaking profits while the planet burns”

ROME, 23.02.23 – “As the climate crisis deepens and millions of people struggle with high energy prices and skyrocketing bills, fossil fuel companies are announcing their highest-ever annual profits. After Exxon Mobil (over 52 billion euros), TotalEnergies (almost 34 billion euros), Shell (almost 38 billion euros) and BP (over 26 billion euros) in the past few weeks, this is ENI’s turn. 

ENI today announces group operating profit in fiscal year 2022 of 20.4 billion euros adjusted, doubling 2021 results. It is the company’s highest profit ever, the result of the very high price spikes reached in 2022 by the fossil fuels at the heart of its business, such as gas. The bulk of these profits will go in the form of dividends and share buybacks benefiting shareholders, 70 percent of them private. This is doubly outrageous, especially because instead of investing in a serious turn toward decarbonization, the company is merely greenwashing, while it continues to devote much of its investment to those same fossil sources that caused and fuel the climate crisis. Moreover, still focusing on gas means condemning Italian families and businesses to pay very expensive bills even in the coming years.” This is how Greenpeace Italy and ReCommon comment on what ENI announced today after the company’s board approved its financial results for the year 2022. 

More than half of ENI’s profits go to investors through dividends and share buy-backs. At the same time, the company’s investment pool has not increased, and three-quarters of it will still go to fossil fuel development, despite the fact that the International Energy Agency has recommended that new investments in oil and gas be avoided in order to succeed in limiting the rise in average global temperature to within the safe threshold of 1.5°C. Of the remainder of the company’s investments, labeled by ENI itself as “green,” only a very limited portion is used to finance new renewable energy plants, as denounced by Greenpeace Italy and ReCommon.

For Greenpeace Italy and ReCommon, it is time for these companies to abandon fossil fuels and urgently decarbonize their operations, and begin to pay for the loss and damage they have caused by contributing decisively to the climate crisis and its devastating consequences for people and the planet. It is also incumbent on domestic and international investors, who benefit from these sky-high profits, to take responsibility and forcefully demand a drastic change of course from the management of fossil fuel companies. Greenpeace Italy and ReCommon are also calling for the taxation of oil and gas companies’ extra-profits to be strengthened by European governments and made permanent rather than limited to conjunctures of energy crises, so as to free up more public resources to address energy poverty and encourage an equitable transition to renewables.

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