An agreement by the European Union, supported by G7 countries and Australia, to impose a price cap on oil prices to “…prevent Russia from profiting from its war of aggression against Ukraine…” is to come into effect from December 5.
The aim is to “…support stability in global energy markets and to minimise negative economic spillovers of Russia’s war of aggression, especially on low and middle-income countries, who have felt the impacts of Putin’s war disproportionately…”
This is welcome news. Action that reduces the loss of life and destruction in Ukraine, and simultaneously reduces widespread misery caused by the detrimental impact of inflated energy costs, is a step in the right direction.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said the UK would not waver in its support and would continue to look for new ways to “…clamp down on Putin’s funding streams…”
Unfortunately, energy giant BP does not share that commitment according to the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s economic adviser Oleg Ustenko. Ustenko has written to BP’s chief executive, Bernard Looney, to demand the British company cut ties with the state-controlled Russian firm Rosneft, nine months after announcing its intention to leave the country.
The FTSE 100 company vowed to end its shareholding in late February after Russia invaded Ukraine. BP has a 19.75% stake in Rosneft, one of the Kremlin’s most important oil assets.
Ustenko has called on BP to exit Russia entirely after the fossil fuel firm was offered a £580m dividend by the oil giant Rosneft.
The Labour MP Margaret Hodge, said: “Britain is trying to close down Russia’s oil market, yet BP is colluding with it. Any dividends going to BP should be repurposed by our government to help with the reconstruction of Ukraine.”
While a reduction in domestic energy costs will undoubtedly benefit everyone, once again we have an energy company continuing with unethical profiteering.
The sooner we reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and move more rapidly towards renewable energy the better.
However, once again it is apparent from the latest rift within the Conservative party over the decision whether or not to lift the ban on onshore wind energy development that the government has no clear policy, long-term plan, or strategy to identify exactly how that is to be achieved.
Declaring a climate emergency is meaningless with a lack of investment and commitment to prioritise renewable energy.
There is little indication of either from the government.