Friday November 27, 2020

BP’s green ambitions are more about securing social licence than saving the planet

It’s unclear how the fossil fuel giant can reach ‘net-zero’ carbon emissions while continuing to pump oil and gas

Daniel Murray

Business Reporter

16th February, 2020
Bernard Looney, chief executive officer of BP Plc, gestures while speaking during a news conference in London, U.K., on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. BP Plc's new boss set out the boldest climate plan of any major oil company, pledging to eliminate almost all of the carbon emissions from its operations and the fuel it sells to customers. Picture: Bloomberg

On the face of it, the new “net-zero” emissions plan from BP is ambitious and impressive.

Dig down into the details, however, and there are signs of the oil giant trying to maintain its fading social licence to produce fossil fuels, rather than a realistic plan to avoid dangerous global warming.

Last week, the new Irish head of BP, Bernard Looney, announced the company’s new and improved green ambitions to great fanfare in...

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