BP boss insists oil giant is part of solution to climate change challenge

2nd October 2019 | Commercial Energy

The head of BP’s business in the UK and Europe, Peter Mather, has insisted the oil and gas giant can help tackle the problem of climate change while maintaining a big North Sea production business for decades. Majors such as BP have faced a barrage of criticism from activists who have called for a halt to oil and gas production in order to prevent global warming reaching critical levels.

However, Mr Mather said BP could play a vital role in helping meet growing global demand for energy and in reducing carbon emissions in the process. He noted, “Satisfying growing energy demand but not increasing and in fact reducing emissions, getting towards net zero by the middle of the century, that’s what we’ve signed up to.”

Climate Change

Mr Maher said BP supports efforts to reduce carbon emissions net of the amounts absorbed to zero by around 2050. He believes the much shorter time frames favoured by some campaigners could entail action that would penalise the poor. “Net zero by 2025 in our view is not feasible and not actually necessarily what the world needs,” observed Mr Mather, adding, “We’ve got to decarbonise energy but energy brings people out of poverty, gives them access to heat, power and mobility. A billion people on this planet don’t have access to electricity and another billion coming on to the planet.”

With growth in demand for energy being driven by developing nations, BP bosses think natural gas will be essential to reducing reliance on more carbon intensive coal. Oil will be needed for use in petrochemicals and to provide transportation fuel for “hard to electrify” sectors such as aviation, road freight and marine.

Against that backdrop, Mr Mather said the company expects to maintain a sizeable North Sea exploration and production business for years to come.

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