Ineos CEO Jim Ratcliffe wants to frack the UK to build his polluting plastics empire
Washington, D.C. and Brussels – The owner of chemical giant Ineos, who has been leading the charge to expand the environmentally destructive practice of fracking to the United Kingdom and mainland Europe, is reportedly planning to move to the tax haven of Monaco.
Ineos’ billionaire CEO Jim Ratcliffe—named the richest man in the UK this year, and who was also knighted in June—has waged a public campaign to downplay the risks of fracking in the UK. The supply of fracked gas would feed the company’s energy-intensive petrochemical facilities, which are major sources of air and water pollution around the world.
Food & Water Watch and Food & Water Europe Executive Director Wenonah Hauter issued the following statement:
“Jim Ratcliffe has pioneered Trans-Atlantic gas liquids shipments from Pennsylvania, which means more fracking and pollution in the United States and more plastics manufacturing pollution in Scotland. All of that drilling brings us closer to climate chaos, which is why the fight against fracking must be global. Polluters like Ratcliffe must be held responsible for the damage they are causing around the globe.”
Reacting to the news that Ratcliffe is moving to live in a tax haven, Joe Corré of Talk Fracking said: “Jim Ratcliffe has used the legal system in the UK to silence people’s right to protest in the form of far-reaching draconian injunctions. He’s bought the government pushing through permitted development for fracking against science and against the will of the people. After all that, Britain’s richest man – worth £22 Billion – has made himself a tax exile in Monaco.”
Steve Mason, spokesman for Frack Free United, added: “Here we see the true colours of Jim Ratcliffe and Ineos. Just like Amazon, Ratcliffe’s primary aim is making tax-free cash at the expense of the UK population, which includes environmental and health impacts for hundreds of communities. This trumps his cynical use of the America’s Cup team and the sponsoring of kids’ fun runs to greenwash his plans to frack up the North to enrich his plastics empire. The artful dodger has definitely been bettered!”
Over the past dozen years, Ineos has transformed from a global chemical powerhouse into an oil, gas, and petrochemical conglomerate. The company’s number of shale licenses makes it the UK’s number one wannabe-fracker.
Ineos has promoted itself as an “Anglo-Swiss” company. In 2016, Ineos re-opened its London headquarters with fanfare, and its executive owners became UK tax residents. Despite Ineos’ substantial UK footprint, it is far from an English company; parent company Ineos Limited is incorporated in the Isle of Man, a low-tax offshore finance centre. And many of Ineos’ biggest holding companies—such as Ineos AG, Ineos Holdings AG and Ineos Europe AG—are based in Switzerland.