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Patriotic and pragmatic: how oil companies want to be seen in an uncertain Europe

Together with Reclame Fossielvrij (Fossil Free Advertising), we published an analysis of the narratives used by oil companies since the invasion of Ukraine – in their public ánd lobby communications.

Our recent study together with master students Sustainable Development from Utrecht University found that, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, European oil and gas companies exploit narratives around “energy security” and “energy independence” on social media to justify their value to the public.

An investigation by Fossil Free Politics into lobbying activities of the fossil fuel industry found that similar narratives were fed to policymakers to encourage investment in fossil fuels and discourage measures to protect end users, such as price caps. Thanks to this lobbying, oil and gas companies made record profits in 2022, while many Europeans struggle to pay their bills.