The journal Nature published a news article this week about the disconnect between soaring oil and gas company profits while escalating climate crises demand investment in more sustainable solutions.
The article notes that total profits from nine of the world’s biggest energy companies approached US$100 billion in the first three months of 2023, after annual profits for 2022 from the same firms totalled $457 billion – larger earnings than usual, partly attributed to the rise in oil and gas prices in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the Covid pandemic.
SEI Research Fellow Daniel Duma weighed in on the matter, commenting that these profits demonstrate an unmitigated demand for fossil-based energy.
“Observing the behaviour and decisions of major oil-and-gas-producing countries and companies, the plans are to continue or even expand production.”
— Daniel Duma, Research Fellow
Meanwhile, global investments in renewable energy to help countries fulfil the Paris Agreement lag behind what is needed to limit global warming to 1.5 ºC.
“Our research shows that fossil fuel production must decline immediately for the world to have a chance at meeting the Paris targets,” Duma told Nature. “Observing the behaviour and decisions of major oil-and-gas-producing countries and companies, the plans are to continue or even expand production,” which could perpetuate fossil fuel generation for perhaps another 20 to 30 years.