Amsterdam – Twelve of Europe’s leading fossil fuel companies are deceiving the public about their willingness to curb their climate-damaging impact by transitioning to renewable energy sources, according to analysis commissioned by Greenpeace Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).
The report, ‘The Dirty Dozen: The Climate Greenwashing of 12 European Oil Companies’, analysed the 2022 annual reports of six global fossil fuel majors and six European oil and gas companies, revealing that a minuscule 0.3% of their combined 2022 energy production came from renewable power.
Kuba Gogolewski, Finance campaigner at Greenpeace CEE, said: “As the world endures unprecedented heat waves, deadly floods and escalating storms, Big Oil clings to its destructive business model and continues to fuel the climate crisis. Their already inadequate decarbonisation plans are an empty shell; instead of providing desperately needed clean energy they feed us greenwashing garbage. Big Oil’s unwillingness to implement real change is a crime against the climate and future generations. Governments need to stop enabling fossil fuel companies, heavily regulate them, and plan our fossil fuel phase-out now. They will never change on their own.”
This is unlikely to change any time soon, as according to the report, only 7.3% (€6.57bn) of the 12 companies’ 2022 investments went towards green energy – the remaining 92.7% (€81.52bn) is funding fossil business as usual and even its expansion, in some cases. Greenpeace is calling for strict regulation of fossil fuel companies to prevent even more fossil-fuelled climate destruction, and a clearly set out, binding roadmap to phase out oil and gas across Europe.
The report also reveals that Big Oil is undermining climate action via a deliberate cocktail of greenwashing jargon, promoting dangerous distractions like carbon capture and storage (CCS) and carbon offsetting, misleading diagrams of their focus and activities, and by publishing only partial data to hide the reality and undermine climate action. There is no sign of any fundamental reorientation of the industry’s core business that would allow it to play any role in the energy transition.
According to the report, BP, Equinor, Wintershall and TotalEnergies actually reduced their investments in low carbon or renewable products in 2022, compared to 2021.
Although the majority of the 12 companies analysed have publicly committed to reaching ‘net zero’ by 2050 – and keep making public assurances that they are investing in renewable energy – not a single one of them has developed a coherent strategy to achieve net zero. The vast majority are planning to maintain or even increase their oil and gas production until at least 2030, according to the report.
Kuba Gogolewski continued: “Fossil fuel companies like Shell, TotalEnergies, BP Equinor and ENI have shown the public they are incapable of self-regulation after scaling back their climate ambitions, despite being heavily responsible for the climate crisis. That’s why Greenpeace is calling for European governments to strictly regulate the industry and begin its rapid economic and political downsizing.”
This regulation should include compulsory investment in genuinely green infrastructure. Governments must also agree on a detailed roadmap to phase out oil and gas across Europe, starting with measures to shift heavily polluting oil and gas sectors like transport (which represents two-thirds of oil consumption in the EU).
Full report The Dirty Dozen: The Climate Greenwashing of 12 European Oil Companies, commissioned by Greenpeace CEE and written by oil market expert Dr Steffen Bukold
Media briefing with the key findings of the report
 The profits, revenues and investments of the following 12 fossil fuel companies were analysed for this report:
- Six so-called ‘Big Oil’ companies: Shell, TotalEnergies, BP, Equinor, Eni and Repsol.
- Six European oil and gas companies: OMV, PKN Orlen, MOL, Wintershall DEA, Petrol Group and Ina Croatia.
 Average exchange rate in 2022: 1.0538 USD = 1 Euro, percentage terms are rounded figures; average is unweighted.
Kuba Gogolewski, Finance campaigner, Greenpeace CEE: [email protected], +49 17 0765 2509
Manon Laudy, Communications Lead, Greenpeace Spain: [email protected], +33 6 49 15 69 83