NEW: The UK Has Given £4 Billion To Oil & Gas Companies Since Signing The Paris Agreement

23 September 2021

We knew the UK Government wasted billions propping up big polluters but we didn’t think it would get this bad.

New data shows that since signing the Paris Agreement, the UK Government has now spent £4 billion propping up the oil and gas industry [1].

In 2020, when many of us were facing the worst of the pandemic and struggling with paying our bills, the UK Government handed out nearly 500 million pounds to the oil and gas industry [2].

This money didn’t go to oil and gas workers - 12,000 of which are estimated to have lost their jobs in 2020. It went straight into the pockets of big polluters.

Here’s a run down of the top 10 companies #PaidToPollute in 2020 [3]:

  1. ExxonMobil received £117 million
  2. Shell received £110 million
  3. Repsol Sinopec Resources received £58 million
  4. CNR International received £42 million
  5. BP received £39 million
  6. Centrica received £31million
  7. TAQA received £29 million
  8. Tullow Oil received £24 million
  9. Harbour Energy received £19 million
  10. Neptune Energy received £10 million

And 2020 wasn’t a one-off. From 2015 - 2020, the UK Government paid just three companies - Shell, Exxon and BP - almost £2 billion in public money to make it easier to drill for more oil and gas [4]. This is a dangerous waste of public money and a massive missed opportunity for the UK.

Public money should be going towards creating good jobs in green, low carbon industry and a fair and fast transition for oil and gas workers and their communities - not accelerating the climate crisis.

Please share these shocking new figures and sign our petition to demand the UK government pull the plug on polluter payouts.


[1] Data taken from HMRC available here:
[2] Data taken from annual UK Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Payments reports for 2015-2020, available here:
[3] Ibid
[4] Ibid (edited)