Petrochemical Giant BP Amuses World with Net-Zero Ambition

By Gary Cutlack on at

One of the world's largest enablers of carbon output is declaring a push to make itself a net-zero carbon producer by 2050, with BP – the P of which stands for Petroleum (the B is for Bollock-loads-of) – claiming it wants to "help the world get to net-zero" by some emissions-offsetting sleight of accounting, that will be technically correct if you ignore what it does at the bottom of various seas.

The company has split its targets into a few categories, saying it wants the oil and gas production and operations side of the business to be net-zero by 2050 or sooner, but of much more consequence is that it says it plans to change the balance of the products it sells – saying it wants a cut of "50 per cent in the carbon intensity" of the oils and gasses it pumps out the world's crevices.

The producer also wants to hit a 50 per cent reduction in "methane intensity" across its sites too, so that's bad news for staff who always have their staff canteen jacket potatoes with beans. That was a joke about farting. I'm trying to broaden my appeal. Please don't ever mention this again.

Environmental group Greenpeace isn't having very much of it at all, mind, and asked of the company: "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?"

There's a 34-minute broadcast of BP CEO Bernard Looney explaining that as best he can in front of a presentation containing loads of photos of trees here. [BP via Sky News]