While remaining committed to meeting climate goals, BP CEO is confident that oil and gas will still play a key role in the energy mix for decades to come.
The bold announcement comes only days after the COP26 summit in Glasgow ended, and BP’s Chief Executive Bernard Looney is well aware of how unpopular it may come across.
But, unfortunately, as he told CNBC this week, that does not change the reality.
Nevertheless, Looney called to “focus on the objective”, which in his words is to cut CO2 emissions. And one way to do that is by replacing coal with natural gas, which is a far less emissions-intensive alternative.
Beyond that, he projected that later in time the goal will shift to fully decarbonizing natural gas so as to eventually meet net-zero goals.
To support his statement, Looney also referred to the International Energy Agency’s “Net Zero” report of May 2021, according to which even in 2050, global oil supply is expected to amount to roughly 20 million barrels per day, net-zero efforts in mind.
So essentially BP’s Chief Executive is advocating for making the best out of a less than ideal situation. Namely, the oil giant’s CEO suggests producing hydrocarbons that will be part of the picture even thirty years from now “in the best way possible”.
The grim comments come after the end result of the COP26 climate conference, part of which was 200 countries agreeing to ‘phasing down’ coal use instead of phasing it out. China and India were among those who insisted on the subtle language change.
Another agreement reached at the summit was to phase out fossil fuel subsidies.
The decision was received with mixed reactions from climate activists and the global media, as many see it as insufficient efforts to tackle the climate crisis.
With that said, however, Looney still emphasized on the fact that, so far, BP has made significant changes to its processes to bring renewables into focus.
In the last 10 months, the corporation has increased its 10 gigawatts in renewables to over 23 gigawatts. Similar progress has been made in the company’s use of hydrogen and offshore wind.