Sunday March 29, 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...

Subscribe from just €1 for the first month!

Exclusive offers:

All Digital Access + eReader



Unlimited Access for 1 Month

Then €19.99 a month after the offer period.

Get basic
*New subscribers only
You can cancel any time.



€149 For the 1st Year

Unlimited Access for 1 Year

You can cancel any time.




90 Day Pass

You can cancel any time.

Team Pass

Get a Business Account for you and your team

Related Stories

In the fifth episode of our Five Degrees of Change podcast, we asked Mark Foley, chief executive of Eirgrid, to offer both personal and policy recommendations to combat climate change

Daniel Murray | 13 hours ago

Daniel Murray is joined by Codema CEO Donna Gartland for the latest episode of Five Degrees of Change, the energy and environmental podcast from the Business Post

Daniel Murray | 5 days ago

Trials for Department of Transport found gas-powered buses were least energy-efficient option

Daniel Murray | 5 days ago