BP unveils plans to have net-zero emissions by 2050
UK Oil and gas major BP announced on Wednesday it was planning to become “a net zero company by 2050 or sooner,”
The company added that it also wanted to “help the world get to net zero.”
In an announcement detailing its aims, BP listed a number of plans it had for the business. They include; slashing the carbon intensity of products it sells by 50 percent by 2050 or earlier; installing methane measurement at its major oil and gas processing sites by 2023, halving the methane intensity of operations, and increasing the proportion of its investment in non-oil and gas businesses.
In order to push the world toward net zero, BP explained it would undertake actions such as “more active advocacy” for policies supportive of net zero, such as carbon pricing.
“The world’s carbon budget is finite and running out fast; we need a rapid transition to net zero,” new chief executive Bernard Looney said in a statement.
“We all want energy that is reliable and affordable, but that is no longer enough,” Looney added. “It must also be cleaner. To deliver that, trillions of dollars will need to be invested in replumbing and rewiring the world’s energy system. It will require nothing short of reimagining energy as we know it.”
BP stated that its target to be a net-zero business covered, on an absolute basis, greenhouse gas emissions from global operations as well as the carbon in the oil and gas it generates. “This is what we mean by making BP net zero,” Looney added. “It directly addresses all the carbon we get out of the ground as well as all the greenhouse gases we emit from our operations. These will be absolute reductions, which is what the world needs.”
A note from Wells Fargo Securities’ Equity Research group described BP’s plan as a “modestly positive event” for the company.
“By directly addressing the ESG elephant-in-the-room with a clear forward path BP may see a greater universe of potential investors willing to kick the tires on this carbon-intensive sector,”
“Alternatively, some investors that might have encountered pressure to dispose of direct investment in oil & gas may get a reprieve.” the note added.
However, Charlie Kronick, oil advisor at Greenpeace UK, said in a statement that BP’s announcement did, however, aroused questions from environmental groups. “BP’s ‘ambitions’ and ‘aims’ all seem to apply to 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.”