Greener BP must do more than talk tough on the climate crisis

A company steeped in oil and gas production may not find it easy to convince investors of its environmental credentials

‘This is serious stuff,” said BP’s Bernard Looney. The chief executive, speaking last week at the oil giant’s three-day investor event, was talking tough on the need to tackle the climate crisis. He could just as easily have been referring to the existential tightrope that BP, and others in the fossil fuel industry, will need to walk between investor confidence and the rising public pressure to slash their greenhouse gas emissions.

Over the course of three days and 10 hours of executive presentations, Looney’s new leadership team sought to convince investors that their plan to become a carbon neutral company will allow them to toe this line successfully. BP’s nascent renewable energy interests will grow while the oil production business that has powered the company for over 110 years will begin to shrink within the next decade. A whiplash of clean energy innovation, carbon capture technologies and emissions offsetting schemes will then power the company to net zero carbon by 2050.

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