17th November 2022, London – Commenting on the UK government’s Autumn budget and announcement, Alice Harrison, Fossil Fuels Campaign Leader at Global Witness, said:

“The British public has every right to be angry when just a few weeks ago BP and Shell announced combined profits of £15 billion in only the third quarter of this year. This budget doesn’t go anywhere near what’s needed to protect UK citizens that are being dragged into poverty, and barely touches the sides of the immense profits that energy companies have been amassing.”

“This is an economic crisis caused by the UK’s deep and unique dependency on an oil and gas, and an energy system that has been created by the very same fossil fuel companies that are now getting obscenely rich on the country’s impoverishment. To see these companies continuously profit and their CEO’s racking up huge bonuses is at stark odds with the rest of us who are staring down the barrel of an austerity Christmas and a cruel and cold winter.”

“If this government is serious about pulling this country out of its economic woes the blueprint isn’t hard to see. A proper windfall tax to support those struggling with bills, combined with a massive boost to renewable energy and home insulation, to end the fossil fuel era that is causing so much damage to both people and planet.”

In October Global Witness revealed that the £31 billion Shell has made in excess profits over the past 12 months could pay for 12.5 million UK energy bills. Likewise BP’s overall profits in the same period would pay for 9.4 million households energy bills in the UK.