On the eve of ENI’s Capital Market Day, an international event during which the company will present its economic and financial results for 2023 and strategy for the coming years, Greenpeace Italy denounces yet another act of intimidation by the Italian oil and gas giant. A few days ago, ENI informed the environmental organization that it has requested a new mediation process that could kick off a second defamation lawsuit.    

ENI considers the contents of the publications “Today’s Emissions, Tomorrow’s Deaths: How Europe’s major oil and gas companies are putting lives at risk” and “Climate Homicide: Are fossil fuel companies getting away with murder? A compilation of legal analysis by Greenpeace Netherlands“, published in December 2023 by Greenpeace Netherlands to be damaging to its reputation. Both publications, whose findings were summarised in Italian on Greenpeace Italy’s website and referenced on the organization’s social media channels, were published by Greenpeace Netherlands.

Using the Mortality Cost of Carbon method developed by US researcher R. Daniel Bressler and published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Communications in 2021, the study “Today’s Emissions, Tomorrow’s Deaths” estimates that the 2022 self-reported greenhouse gas emissions of the nine major European oil and gas companies Shell, TotalEnergies, BP, Equinor, ENI, Repsol, OMV, Orlen, and Wintershall Dea could collectively cause an estimated 360,000 temperature-related premature deaths before the end of the century. According to the Greenpeace Netherlands report, ENI’s 2022 greenhouse gas emissions could cause an estimated 27,000 temperature-related premature deaths before 2100.

The publication “Climate Homicide: Are fossil fuel companies getting away with murder? A compilation of legal analysis by Greenpeace Netherlands” presents a summary by Greenpeace Netherlands of analysis by criminal lawyers from the UK, Italy, France, Netherlands and Czechia on the concept of ‘climate homicide’.

Prior to the publication of the study “Today’s Emissions, Tomorrow’s Deaths”, Greenpeace Netherlands had given ENI an opportunity to comment on their findings. The company provided no substantive rebuttal, merely threatening Greenpeace with new legal action. Of all nine companies included in the study, ENI is the only one that has threatened to take legal action in response to its publication. 

«We face yet another act of intimidation by ENI; it seems that threatening defamation lawsuits is the new sport which the company has decided to pursue most enthusiastically. But we won’t be silenced», says Chiara Campione of Greenpeace Italy. «This new potential defamation lawsuit follows a similar case initiated by ENI against Greenpeace Italia only a few months ago. And that’s not all: two weeks ago, ENI even carried out a serious form of intimidation against a  TV program from a public Italian channel that would have liked to talk about the climate lawsuit that Greenpeace Italia and ReCommon promoted against it in May 2023. It has become clear: ENI is trying to silence anyone who dares to speak up and denounce the company’s contribution to the fueling of the climate crisis».

It is ENI’s second attempt to silence Greenpeace Italy: last May 9, 12 Italian citizens, together with Greenpeace Italy and ReCommon filed a civil lawsuit against ENI for the damages the company is causing by contributing to the climate crisis with its greenhouse gas emissions. Apart from ENI’s contribution to global heating, the company is continuing to invest and operate in further fossil fuel production. The first hearing in this climate case took place this year in February. Although ignored by the main Italian media, it has been widely echoed in the international media, prompting ENI to retaliate against the two environmental associations with an obvious intimidating intent.

In addition to ENI, several other international energy companies are using legal intimidation like SLAPP – and in some cases large financial demands – to try and stop Greenpeace and other organizations from denouncing the damage the fossil fuel industry is causing to people and the planet. This includes lawsuits by TotalEnergies against Greenpeace France and Shell against Greenpeace UK and Greenpeace International.