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article imageOil giant BP lays out its plan to be carbon neutral by 2050

By Karen Graham     Feb 12, 2020 in Business
BP's new chief executive officer has laid out an ambitious plan for the oil giant's future - an existential challenge for the oil industry. While other major oil companies agreed to curb their emissions, BP plans to zero-cut all its emissions.
BP's new boss, Bernard Looney, who by the way has only been on the job since last week, went right to the point, saying in a statement on Wednesday: “The world’s carbon budget is finite and running out fast; we need a rapid transition to net-zero. We have got to change -- and change profoundly.”
The London-based company wants to eliminate or offset all carbon emissions from its operations and the oil and gas it sells to customers by 2050. That is a big order, especially coming from one of the world's largest oil companies that back in October 2019 said it planned to expand its oil and gas production by roughly a fifth between 2018 and 2030, according to reporting by The Guardian.
Engadget writes that unless the new CEO backs off from that expansion of oil and gas production, the whole zero=emissions plan would be useless, pointing out that BP has given itself three decades to continue spewing CO2 into the atmosphere before it has to do anything.
In his presentation in London, surrounded by climate scientists, investors, and journalists, Looney pointed out that the announcement was only a plan for the future, sort of a GPS destination, according to the Associated Press. “We’re starting with a destination,”′ he said. “The details will come.″
To deliver this ambitious plan, BP will basically reorganize its company into a more "focused" structure that includes four groups (such as Gas & Low Carbon Energy and Innovation & Engineering) and integrators that promote sustainability and emissions reductions.
BP's plan is bold and ambitious, but it does raise questions about a company that by its own estimation emits the equivalent of about 55 million tons a year of carbon dioxide, while the oil and gas it pumps from the ground adds another 360 million tons.
Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, says BP's announcement will certainly put added pressure on other oil companies.
"The oil and gas industry can only survive the next few decades if they take ownership of the rapid transition to zero-emissions energy,″ Ward said. ”However, what is lacking from BP’s announcement is any indication of whether the company accepts that there will be a major reduction in the global demand for its hydrocarbon fuels.″
This change also means that BP will have to take another look at its political contributions and lobbying efforts. Some of its PAC contributions still tend to go to pro-oil politicians, and at this time, their lobbying does not include much support for transitioning away from fossil fuels.
More about British petroleum, Carbon neutral, CO2 Emissions, new technologies, net zero policies
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