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‘Finite and Running Out Fast’

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It might sound a little like McDonald’s promising to be “beef neutral,” but petroleum giant BP has pledged to be carbon neutral across all of its operations by 2050.

“The world’s carbon budget is finite and running out fast; we need a rapid transition to net zero,” BP CEO Bernard Looney said. “We all want energy that is reliable and affordable, but that is no longer enough. It must also be cleaner. To deliver that, trillions of dollars will need to be invested in re-plumbing and rewiring the world’s energy system. It will require nothing short of reimagining energy as we know it.

“This will certainly be a challenge, but also a tremendous opportunity. It is clear to me, and to our stakeholders, that for BP to play our part and serve our purpose, we have to change. And we want to change — this is the right thing for the world and for BP.”

How does an organization that produces the equivalent of 3.7 million barrels of oil a day achieve this ambitious goal? BP listed several strategies:

  • A 50 percent cut in the carbon intensity of its products by 2050 or sooner.
  • Installing methane measurement at all major oil and gas processing sites by 2023 and reducing the methane intensity of operations by 50 percent.
  • Increasing the proportion of investment into non-oil and gas businesses over time.

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