Green targets set

BP boss outlines plan to achieve zero carbon emissions


BP needs to change, said its new CEO

Oil giant BP’s new boss Bernard Looney has set out how he believes the company can achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner.

Mr Irishman, who last week succeeded Bob Dudley as CEO, said the company needed to “reinvent” itself and will be dedicating more investment to alternative energy.

In a major statement of his vision, he told an audience in London that he came to the “inescapable conclusion” that “we have got to change”.

He said that some see tackling climate change as a threat to BP’s existence – “I see it as an opportunity”.

His strategy for change follows similar statements of intent by other fossil fuel companies, including Royal Dutch Shell and Total.

Mr Looney said: “The world’s carbon budget is finite and running out fast; we need a rapid transition to net zero.

“Trillions of dollars will need to be invested in re-plumbing and rewiring the world’s energy system.

“This will certainly be a challenge, but also a tremendous opportunity. It is clear to me, and to our stakeholders, that for BP to play our part and serve our purpose, we have to change. And we want to change – this is the right thing for the world and for BP.”

The CEO’s five aims to get BP to net zero:

  1. Net zero across BP’s operations on an absolute basis by 2050 or sooner.
  2. Net zero on carbon in BP’s oil and gas production on an absolute basis by 2050 or sooner.
  3. 50% cut in the carbon intensity of products BP sells by 2050 or sooner.
  4. Install methane measurement at all BP’s major oil and gas processing sites by 2023 and reduce methane intensity of operations by 50%.
  5. Increase the proportion of investment into non-oil and gas businesses over time.

Five aims to help the world get to net zero:

  1. More active advocacy for policies that support net zero, including carbon pricing.
  2. Further incentivise BP’s workforce to deliver aims and mobilise them to advocate for net zero.
  3. Set new expectations for relationships with trade associations.
  4. Aim to be recognised as a leader for transparency of reporting, including supporting the recommendations of the TCFD.
  5. Launch a new team to help countries, cities and large companies decarbonise.

Stuart Lamont, investment manager at Brewin Dolphin, said: “The market has reacted positively to today’s announcement from BP and its shares have risen just under 1% with news of the strategy.

“This is in keeping with the wider transition from big oil to big energy and the oil & gas sector demonstrating its commitment to decarbonisation.  While the statement provides a positive direction of travel, investors and analysts will be looking to the capital markets day in September for further details.”

Charlie Kronick, oil adviser from Greenpeace UK, said: “BP’s ‘ambitions’ and ‘aims’ all seem to apply to [Mr] Looney’s successors, and leave the urgent questions unanswered.

“How will they reach net zero? Will it be through offsetting? When will they stop wasting billions on drilling for new oil and gas we can’t burn?

“What is the scale and schedule for the renewables investment they barely mention? And what are they going to do this decade, when the battle to protect our climate will be won or lost?”

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