BP boss Looney 'reinvents' oil giant with zero carbon goal
"We need to reinvent BP,"
BP plans deep cuts to its carbon emissions by 2050, setting one of the oil sector's most ambitious targets, as part of the biggest overhaul in the company's 111-year history by new chief executive Bernard Looney.
The targets set out by Looney on Wednesday put BP ahead of rivals Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Equinor and all of the US oil majors.
"We have got to change and change profoundly because the world is changing fast and so are society's expectations of us," he said in his first major speech as CEO.
"We need to reinvent BP," he said earlier in a statement.
BP did not specify how it intends to reach its 2050 targets to get emissions from its operations and barrels produced to net zero and halve the intensity of emissions by all products it sells, which include diesel or petrol.
Smaller Spanish rival Repsol has set similar net zero carbon targets for the oil products it sells, also known as Scope 3, at a cost of more than $5 billion. This does not include emissions from products it markets but which were produced by other groups, Repsol said.
The huge scale of BP's operations puts its aims at the vanguard in oil and gas.
BP has tried reinventing itself before. A pioneering plan to build a large renewables business in the early 2000s ended with huge losses.
Since then, the world's top oil and gas companies have come under heavy pressure from investors and climate activists to meet the 2015 Paris climate goal of limiting global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels.
"The world's carbon budget is finite and running out fast; we need a rapid transition to net zero. We all want energy that is reliable and affordable, but that is no longer enough. It must also be cleaner," Looney added.
Shares in BP were up 1.3 percent at 1423 GMT, roughly in line with the broader European energy sector index .SXEP after the news, which confirmed a Reuters report in January.
BP's absolute net zero carbon target relates to every barrel it produces, based on its equity stake in oil and gas fields, from the well to the petrol station. It does not encompass oil products which BP markets but does not produce itself.
This is a uniquely structured target for oil majors, which, apart from Repsol, have not set any absolute reduction targets for any of its Scope 3 emissions.
BP, which produced around 2.64 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2019, said it would cut its emissions to net zero from some 415 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent a year.