Gasoline with a low sulphur content will be made available in some of the world’s most congested cities, including London, Detroit and Chicago, over the coming months, said Sir John Browne, Chief Executive of BP Amoco, speaking at the Detroit Economic Club on 25th January 1999.

“I believe that we can show, year by year, that the products we supply contribute to a progressive improvement in air quality – here in the US and elsewhere – without denying people the fundamental freedom of mobility,” said Browne.”That combination – the combination of mobility and choice – is our new green agenda.”

Fuels like Amoco Ultimate already have a sulphur specification of 200 ppm, around 130ppm lower than the average US fuel.

The company, said Browne, is preparing for moves to much lower sulphur levels. Browne announced that the company also intends to make reductions in the sulphur levels of diesel in Europe.

BP last year set itself the target of reducing emissions from its refineries, oil fields and petrochemical plants by 10 per cent by the year 2010 from a 1990 baseline. Since the two companies merged, that figure has been extended to cover Amoco’s activities and built into the company’s managers’ annual performance contracts, said Browne.

“The short term destination for gasoline is clear: Unleaded, low benzene, low sulphur or no sulphur. For diesel, low sulphur is also a priority. BP Amoco is committed to providing these fuels,” Browne said.

“There is no trade off for any manager, at any level, between our environment targets and our financial targets,” said Browne. “We’re already taking a wide range of specific steps to meet our 10 per cent target, and we very much welcome the US Government’s support for legislation which will give credit to companies who take early action.

“One of the steps we’ve taken is to set up a trading system within the company to ensure that we cut emissions in the most cost effective way possible. A number of trades have already taken place. Over the next 18 months we’ll expand that system to include all the activities of BP Amoco.”

BP Amoco’s goal is to be a completely unleaded company worldwide within three years, said Browne.

In order to reach that goal, Browne said, the company needs “supportive regulation which works through targets and incentives rather than through prescriptive regulation and imposed costs. That regulation should, for instance, encourage trading – which I believe may have a major role to play in driving down fuel sulphur levels.

“We should welcome the moves in the direction of incentives and co-operation which have been made by Governments both in this country and in Europe. And we should recognise that those moves offer us both a challenge and an opportunity.”

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