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BP to cap emissions in first step towards fighting climate change

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BP’s Chief Executive, Bob Dudley, has told an audience in London that the petroleum giant will place a cap on carbon emissions out to 2025.

The plan, outlined in a new report, will see the company take baby steps towards a low-carbon future.

Mr Dudley stated that even as BP grows total carbon emissions each year from now until 2025 will remain no bigger than in 2015 when the Paris climate accord was signed.

In addition, BP has set a target to cut carbon emissions by 3.5 million tonnes over the next eight years with investments in energy efficiency, tackling the intensity of methane emissions, and reduced flaring at oil and gas sites.

If these measures don’t work then investments in ‘high-quality’ carbon offset projects will be used instead.

BP is also growing the low-carbon side of its business with annual investments of $500 million in renewable energy and clean technologies. This includes building more wind and solar farms as well as new battery storage. The company’s wind energy arm announced only last week a project to pilot a Tesla battery at a wind farm in rural South Dakota.

The initial targets released this week are meant to build momentum and serve “as the basis for even bolder action tomorrow”, said Mr Dudley.

“But as much as we’re all doing individually and collectively, oil and gas companies alone cannot solve this problem. Our experience in BP tells us that a global challenge on this scale requires everyone playing a part, from consumers to corporations to governments,” he added.

BP believes that “clear, stable pricing frameworks” are the most meaningful way for governments to incentivise greater low-carbon projects and change the behaviour of individuals and business.

“By responding collectively on these priorities, then even a challenge as complex as climate change can be met”, he concluded.

It remains to be seen whether these initial plans are successful, or enough, to combat the problem, of which companies such as BP play a huge part. Some climate advocates were left unimpressed by the pledges; “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,” said Luke Sussams, a senior researcher at the non-profit Carbon Tracker Initiative.

Photo Credit: BP p.l.c.

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