BP pledged to drastically reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 with the intention of reinventing the British oil company designed by its new executive director, Bernard Looney.
On Wednesday, BP set more ambitious goals than other large companies in the sector such as Royal Dutch Shell and Total but not as much as those set by the Spanish company Repsol.
“We need to reinvent BP,” Looney said in a statement.
The world’s leading oil and gas companies have been subject to strong pressure from investors and climate change activists who demand that they align with the 2015 Paris agreement, which aims to limit global warming below 2 degrees Celsius with respect to preindustrial levels.
“The global carbon budget is finite and rapidly running out; we need a rapid transition to zero emissions in net terms. We all want reliable and affordable energy, but that is no longer enough. It must also be cleaner.”
Large US oil companies such as Exxon, Chevron and ConocoPhillips are much less ambitious than their European rivals in terms of targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
BP said that by 2050 it wants to reduce by half the intensity of CO2 emissions from the oil and gas products it markets, known as Scope 3 emissions.
A pioneering plan called “Beyond oil” that BP launched in the early 2000s to build a large renewable energy business ended with huge losses for the 111-year-old British company.
According to Reuters calculations, Scope 3 emissions far outweigh the greenhouse gases caused by the production of crude oil, natural gas and power generation.
These are indirect emissions, such as those related to the extraction and production of materials purchased by a company, work trips with external means or the transport of raw materials and fuels.