BP Pledges to Cut Emissions to Zero but Offers Few Details

  • Feb 12, 2020
  • EcoWatch

That falls slightly short of the target set by the Spanish oil company Repsol, which in December set a net zero goal for all of the products it produces and sells. But Repsol is a much smaller oil company than BP.

Some environmental groups offered cautious praise for BP’s pledge, though they said they would need to see more details and concrete actions. But other green groups said they would not consider BP serious about climate change until it made a commitment to stop expanding its extraction of fossil fuels.

“Unless BP commits clearly to stop searching for more oil and gas, and to keep their existing reserves in the ground, we shouldn’t take a word of their P.R. spin seriously,” said Ellen Gibson, a campaigner for fossil-fuel divestment with the environmental group 350.org in Britain.

At the news conference, Mr. Looney said he expected BP would still be producing oil and gas by 2050, though he added that he expected oil production to “decline over time.”

Mr. Looney also said BP planned to push governments to enact stricter climate policies, such as a tax on the carbon dioxide emitted by companies. But it remains to be seen how aggressively BP will pursue this strategy. In 2018, under its previous leadership, BP spent $13 million lobbying against a ballot initiative in Washington State that would have imposed a statewide carbon tax, saying that the policy would set a “bad precedent.”

Mr. Looney, who took over as BP’s chief executive in February, signaled he wanted to take the company in a new direction. He vowed to end a corporate advertising campaign that critics called greenwashing and said the company would review its membership in trade associations that opposed stricter climate policies.

For more climate news sign up for the Climate Fwd: newsletter or follow @NYTClimate on Twitter.