BP Amoco promises targets for biodiversity but no guarantees to respect nature reserves

BP Amoco's new vice president for Health, Safety and Environment has promised that the company will accelerate policymaking on biodiversity with a view to adopting performance standards as stringent as those it has for greenhouse gas emission reduction.

John Mogford, the new VP for HSE, was speaking at a conference on business and biodiversity in London. “We were the first company to step out of the pack in the oil and gas sector in terms of climate change,” Mogford told his audience, admitting that BP Amoco has a lot of work to do on biodiversity. “Our thinking on biodiversity is in its infancy at the moment.”

Mogford told edie that BP Amoco would avoid drilling, ins some cases, to protect biodiversity standards. Mogford said that BP Amoco’s minimum environmental and social standards – including biodiversity standards once they are these are developed – have to be met in order for a project to go ahead. However, Mogford told edie that BP Amoco may be in favour of drilling in protected areas in some instances “because for some protected areas there is an historical protection based on a single issue”.

BP Amoco is pressing for permission to drill in the Arctic Refuge, a protected areas of Alaska, despite the fact that environmentalists are already protesting against a BP Amoco drilling project already underway in another part of the state – the Northstar project (see separate story in the UK section of this edition of edie news and see related story).

Outlining BP Amoco’s plans to develop a biodiversity strategy, Mogford argued that the company’s commitment to environmental progress is demonstrated by the seriousness with which it is tackling climate change (see related story).

In 1999, BP Amoco business sectors reduced their greenhouse gas emissions (ghg) by four percent from 1998 levels – an overall reduction of 10% is the target to reach by 2010. This year, the company is making the process more difficult by holding back some of the emission credits that would normally circulate in its internal emissions trading scheme in order to create greater incentive for some of its businesses to achieve their own ghg reductions.

Mogford was speaking at a conference organised by the Royal Institute for International Affairs.

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie