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Oil and gas workers ‘dismayed’ after charity rejects $1m donation for Ukraine

A boy holds a toy as he rests in a center for Ukrainian refugees in Warsaw. AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski
A boy holds a toy as he rests in a center for Ukrainian refugees in Warsaw. AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski

Workers from a north-east oil and gas firm have been left “shocked and dismayed” after their $1million donation for Ukraine was rejected.

Save the Children refused the donation from Neptune Energy because the charity is “committed to working on climate change issues”.

The North Sea producer instead donated $2m to the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Rescue Committee.

Neptune Energy sent a letter, seen by our sister publication Energy Voice, saying the charity had been “short-sighted and extreme” in their refusal of the donation.

The oil and gas firm questioned the decision, adding the charity had been chosen by workers.

The letter claims staff were “shocked, dismayed and left wondering whether their own personal donations will no longer be welcomed by Save the Children”.

It reads: “This decision does not seem to align with the guidance we can identify within your policy documents, seems to have been arrived at without even minimal scrutiny of who Neptune Energy is and what we do, and appears short-sighted in the extreme, given the urgent needs of those your charity is seeking to support.”

The letter slams the decision, explaining that the charity should not decline donations which could make a “material difference” to its stated aim where “every child has a chance of the future they deserve”.

Neptune Energy has among the lowest production emissions in the North Sea. It also recently announced that it would store more emissions than it emits by 2030 using carbon capture technology.

Charity changed policy after children protested ‘threat of climate crisis’

Save the Children said it would consider a donation for its Children’s Emergency Fund because it could be used for a crisis which has little money available.

A spokesman for Save the Children said: “We decided earlier this month that we would stop taking donations as soon as possible from companies whose core business is in fossil fuels.

“The only exception during a transitional period before this policy comes into force would be a large donation to our flexible Children’s Emergency Fund.

“The reason is that this could be used in a crisis for which relatively little money is available, such as in the Horn of Africa.

“We’ve changed our policy following a lead given by children all over the world who have protested about the threat the climate crisis poses to their future.”

The charity’s board includes vice-chairman and PWC partner Richard Winter, which advises oil and gas companies, as well as Anne Fahy who worked for BP for 27 years.

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