Shell and BP made billions, didn’t pay a single cent in taxes

Oil giants Shell and BP, which together are responsible for more than 1.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, have not paid a cent in Britain’s corporate tax on extracting oil and gas from the North Sea in the past three years. This is evident from the company files in the hands Watchman. Meanwhile, both Shell and BP are eager to take advantage of a variety of tax breaks on both sides of the canal.

The files show that between 2018 and 2020, the two companies – which have an environmental footprint five times larger than the whole of Great Britain – forced nearly £400 million in tax cuts (€475 million), while over the same period they lost more than 44 billion. £ (52 billion) of dividends paid to shareholders.

In 2016, the British Conservative Economy Minister was able to get an oil income tax of 35%. At the same time, it has enabled oil companies to dismantle oil rigs with billions in government support.

Climate activists have now sued the UK government over its particularly lucrative tax system for the oil giants. They want the court not only to stop the money given to oil companies, but also to impose a ban on new oil and gas extraction projects in the North Sea in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Greenpeace describes the UK’s hosting of the COP26 climate summit as “ridiculous”, while we have one of the lowest tax rates on oil extraction. We provide billions of dollars in tax support to companies that have caused the climate crisis for decades. “

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Megan Vasquez

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