Report | “Green” Multinationals exposed

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A new report coordinated by the Transnational Institute with the participation of ODG analyse how the energy transition is being hijacked by corporate interests

ODG has collabored on a new report coordinated by Transnational Institute examining 15 energy multinationals that claim to lead in renewables and the transition technology sector. The research found that the energy companies’ profits were seven times more than the combined support from rich countries for climate adaptation, all while still relying on public money to invest in new projects.

These firms claim to be at the forefront of climate action. They give the impression that the public can simply count on market forces and industry to decarbonise society. This report however provides evidence that these companies have been consistently undermining energy transition efforts. New data show the stark reality between these companies’ supposedly green credentials and how many of these ‘green’ multinationals have hijacked the energy transition for profit.

The Transnational Institute (TNI) has examined these companies’ finances, their history, who owns them, and their effects on the climate, on societies and on politics. The companies we looked at are mostly from North America and Europe. Our cross-section includes firms that produce electricity and those that make equipment for renewable energy (like solar and wind) and electric cars.

The 15 companies profiled in this report have spent a combined total of US$130.77 billion in dividends and US$24.8 billion in share buybacks between 2016 and 2022 — all while still relying on public money to invest in new projects. In total, they made a profit of US$175.86 billion between 2016 and 2022. This is more than seven times the real financial support that rich countries have provided to poor nations to tackle and adapt to climate change (despite pledging US$100 billion a year in 2009).

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