BP’s low-carbon strategy comes under fire

BP's new sustainability strategy to level-out increases to emissions during a period of business growth has been labelled as "too small" an effort to reduce the company's exposure to climate risk.

BP published is Advancing the Energy Transition framework on Monday (16 April), outlining plans to generate reductions of 3.5m tonnes of CO2 equivalent annually throughout its businesses by 2025. These reductions, BP claims, will see net greenhouse gas emissions kept at 2015 levels throughout the time period as the business expands.

“The world is growing like never before, creating opportunity for billions of people. And all this growth requires energy,” BP’s chief executive Bob Dudley said. “But as the world demands more energy it also demands that it be produced and delivered in new ways, with fewer emissions.

“At BP, we embrace this dual challenge. We have always looked to the future, adapted to change and met challenges like this head on. In this report, we examine how the energy world is changing, set out our low carbon ambitions and show how we are helping to advance the energy transition.”

BP has outlined plans to limit the emissions intensity of methane use, while reduced flaring in oil and gas projects are expected to deliver further emissions reductions. Carbon offset projects are also likely to be utilised by the firm.

The company has introduced a new accreditation programme, Advancing Low Carbon (ALC), to encourage the wider BP group to capture low-carbon opportunities and encourage customers to reduce emissions.

20th century response

However, response to the announcement has been largely negative. Carbon Tracker claimed that the strategy will do little to combat climate change, while former BP adviser and current E3G chair Tom Burke claimed it was a “20th century response to a 21st century problem”.

“Improvements in BP’s operational emissions, while welcome, are too small to move the needle to prevent runaway climate change or reduce BP’s exposure to carbon risk,” Carbon Tracker’s senior researcher Luke Sussams said.

Earlier this year, BP pledged to invest $500m into low-carbon solutions after posting a strong financial performance in 2017. The oil giant revealed that higher oil prices and growing crude production had pushed up full year underlying profits to $6.2bn.

Earlier this month, BP announced it will use Tesla battery technology on the 25MW Titan 1 Windfarm in South Dakota top boost the reliability of renewables generation. Renewable energy will be stored in a Tesla battery with an 840kwh energy capacity that is capable of providing up to 212kw of power.

Matt Mace

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