London, August 1, 2023 – As BP today posted profits of £6 billion ($7.6 billion) so far this year, the oil and gas giant also said it had paid £6 billion ($7.6 billion) to shareholders, through dividend pay-outs and shareholder buybacks, helping the rich get richer while the number of English households suffering from fuel poverty continues to rise.
BP’s banner profits have resulted in a 10% increase in shareholder pay-outs compared to last year, when the company distributed £5.4 billion in dividends and share buybacks.
This stands in sharp contrast to those of us who rely on the energy that BP produces. According to government estimates, some 3.5 million English households will suffer from fuel poverty in 2023, an 8% increase over 2022.
BP’s Q2 profits were reported today as £2 billion ($2.6 billion).
Meanwhile, BP CEO Bernard Looney’s salary doubled last year to £10 million.
Jonathan Noronha-Gant, Global Witness, Senior Campaigner, said:
“In 2021 BP’s CEO described his company as a ‘cash machine’ after soaring oil and gas prices boosted profits. Nearly two years on, and BP is riding the wave of the energy crisis, and handing huge sums of money to its shareholders while the UK’s poverty rates spiral.
“This is what a broken energy system looks like – oil giants get richer because the rest of us get poorer. For BP the energy crisis has been a giant cash grab; for parents across the country it has been an impossible choice between feeding their children and paying their bills.
“The UK government needs to stop propping up this toxic industry, and urgently transition to a homegrown energy system that will bring down our bills, shore up our energy security, and help contain the devastating impacts of climate breakdown. We need an energy system that’s built for all of us, not just the privileged few.”
Notes to Editors:
- Underlying data and calculations available upon request.
- Energy poverty rate increases are calculated by comparing the number of households in energy poverty in 2022 (3.26 million) and 2023 (3.53 million), showing an 8% increase. Set relative to the total number of households in England, the energy poverty rate in 2022 was 13.4%, while the rate in 2023 is projected to be 14.4%. For further information, see https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1139133/annual-fuel-poverty-statistics-lilee-report-2023-2022-data.pdf