Two years ago the results announcements and strategy updates of Europe’s oil and gas giants seemed to want to talk as little as possible about their core products, with a focus instead on plans to become big hitters in renewables and the wider energy transition more generally.

Multi-gigawatt ambitions, project acquisitions and green team-building were the order of the day for the likes of Shell, BP and TotalEnergies.

The forces unleashed by the Ukraine war changed the game – booming profits from fossil fuels and a new mantra of ‘energy security’ in global governments – as underlined by Shell’s new reaffirmation of its commitment to hydrocarbon production in a strategy update by CEO Wael Sawan.

The oil & gas giants are also now firmly positioning renewables as part of an ‘integrated value chain’ alongside more profitable areas such as EV charging or green fuels production, with a dash for capacity apparently off the agenda.

Cue fuel to the fire of talk of a hardening of investment sentiment against the energy transition. This narrative tells us that global finance is tiring of the emissions-fighting net-zero agenda, with its demands for abundant capital but low rewards.

That doesn’t quite fit, however, with the experience of Just Climate chief investment officer Shaun Kingsbury, who told Recharge how the climate industrial impact fund had beaten its $1bn initial target by 50% with the backing of everyone from sovereign wealth funds to pension funds and billionaires.

“I've seen those reports too,” said Kingsbury“I can only point to the depth of the engagement we’ve had [with huge investors] who are looking to the long term.

“They know about carbon risk – they need some carbon upside.”

The green investment backlash story hardly also tallies with a $7bn target for the next renewables fund of global finance giant BlackRock, or predictions from the International Energy Agency that investment in solar will outstrip that in oil for the first time this year.

There may indeed be some changes in investment behaviour as a result of the geopolitics of the moment, but oil & gas players rediscovering their love for their suddenly more profitable core products is no evidence of an energy transition running out of steam.

While the supermajors and their deep-pockets were initially welcomed into sectors such as offshore wind, their presence has arguably been a double-edge sword, with some blaming their market-building forays into green power auctions for fuelling a race to the bottom in bidding.

If one consequence of a cooling interest in renewables is an easing of that pressure, the result could be positive for the wider pool of energy giants that remain committed to doing the heavy lifting of the transition – the likes of Orsted and Iberdrola – by getting large volumes of power onto the grid

Now the onus is on governments to give those developers committed to green growth the help they need. Faster permitting, and large, long-term visible project pipelines would be a good start.