Oil and gas giant BP has committed to making its world-spanning operations net zero ‘on an absolute basis’ by 2050.
New chief executive Bernard Looney also pledged to cut carbon intensity of its operations in half by 2050, with methane emissions halved across all its extraction and processing sites by 2023.
Also included in a ten-point plan is a 50 per cent cut in carbon intensity of BP’s products within 30 years.
A new low carbon power unit will be set up, and the entire business re-shaped into four divisions, in a bid to maximise returns from low carbon power systems and technologies, according to the plan.
Green power investments held in BP’s Alternative Energies division will be stepped up, in line with recent stake building in such activities as solar developer BP Lightsource and car charging operator BP Chargemaster.
“The world’s carbon budget is finite and running out fast”, said Looney. “We need a rapid transition to net zero. Trillions of dollars will needed to re-plumb and re-wire the world’s energy system”.
A board-level strategy team will report back in September with feasibility assessments on the activities likely to yield its quickest carbon cuts. Staff among its 37,000 pay roll will be incentivised to become ‘internal ambassadors’ for net zero.
Beyond the 30 year headline, however, Looney committed to few shorter-term timelines or targets. Analysts noted that nothing announced today changed BP’s commitment to delivering on investor proposition and widening its shareholder base.
Along with other oil majors, BP has faced growing criticism from green campaigners, including over its sponsorship of arts events. On his first day as CEO last week, Looney was greeted at BP’s HQ by locked-on protestors.
Today’s plan says BP’s ‘corporate reputation advertising’ will stop, and resources redirected into ‘active advocacy for progressive climate policies’.
BP Chargemaster’s Tom Callow will speak at The Energyst’s ‘Delivering Net Zero’ event, 22-23 April, Silverstone. Register for your free ticket.
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These plans for thirty years hence remind me that , thirty years ago, BP owned half of the largest insulation manufacuring plant in Britain, and the second largest energy management company. And then sold off their interests in both, because they were deemed to be “not part of the core business strategy “.