THE Scottish Greens have hit out at Shell after the oil and gas giant said adjusted profits came in at $6.2 billion (£5.1bn) during the three months to the end of September.

That was up from the $5bn it had reported for the second quarter of its financial year, but below the $9.45bn achieved in the same period last year when gas and oil prices were elevated by the immediate effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

However, oil and gas giants continue to come under pressure from climate campaigners as they are accused of fuelling the destruction of the planet.

Scottish Greens MSP Mark Ruskell (below) said: “These grotesque and immoral profits are fuelling the destruction of our planet and burning away our future.

The National: Green MSP Mark Ruskell speaking during a debate

“We have all seen the awful impact of climate chaos, with horrific wildfires all over Europe and terrible flooding across Scotland.

“Things have rarely been better for oil and gas company bosses, but our environment can’t cope with their drive for endless oil and gas extraction. It is doing terrible damage here and around the world, and it will have a devastating impact for generations to come.”

He added that a windfall tax “full of loopholes” did not go far enough to help tackle climate change.

“If Shell bosses have any concern about the future of our planet then they must surely invest these astronomical profits in transforming our energy system system and ensuring a fair and just transition to renewables."

Shell’s chief executive Wael Sawan said that the company had delivered “another quarter of strong operational and financial performance, capturing opportunities in volatile commodity markets”.

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“We continue to simplify our portfolio while delivering more value with less emissions.”

The profit numbers attracted similar criticism to that which was aimed at its UK-based rival BP earlier this week.

Elsewhere, Unite union’s general secretary Sharon Graham was among those to criticise Shell.

She said: “It’s time to stop companies like Shell making a killing at our expense. Profiteering on this magnitude is one of the greatest scandals of our time.

“It is crippling our communities and what remains of our industrial base. Energy privatisation has failed – pure and simple.”

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Jonathan Noronha-Gant, senior campaigner at climate justice group Global Witness, added: “Shell’s shareholders remain some of the biggest winners of Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine and ongoing global instability.

“The turmoil in fossil fuel markets allows Shell to rake in enormous profits – but instead of investing in clean energy, the company has doubled down on oil, gas and shareholder pay-outs.”