If 2020 wasn't weird enough already, consider this: Green activists are saying fairly nice things about one of the world's largest and most powerful fossil fuel companies.
Driving the news: This morning BP unveiled accelerated steps to transition its portfolio toward low-carbon sources — including its intent to cut oil-and-gas production by 40% over the next decade.
Why it matters: BP offers new details and medium-term goals to its February vow to become a "net-zero" emissions company by mid-century. And, according to Wood Mackenzie analyst Luke Parker, BP has provided the "clearest and most detailed roadmap" yet of any oil major on plans to transform their business over time.
- It also signals how one of the world's most powerful fossil fuel companies is navigating a landscape upended by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The crisis has put immense financial pressure on even the largest players like BP, which in June announced plans to shed 10,000 jobs.
- BP essentially sped up plans to fill in big blanks about its repositioning that had been slated for September, though it still plans to provide more details next month.
What they're saying: Greenpeace UK's Mel Evans calls BP's moves a "necessary and encouraging start" on climate but adds that the company "must go further."
- "BP has woken up to the immediate need to cut carbon emissions this decade," Evans says of BP's plans to slash oil-and-gas output.
- “BP is the first oil major that walks the walk instead of just offering ambitions for 2050, like its peers,” says Mark van Baal of the climate-focused shareholder advocacy group Follow This, which also advocates for more aggressive steps.
- Andrew Grant of the Carbon Tracker Initiative says BP has "radically changed the game" with its production-cutting plan.
How it works: BP intends to cut production from 2.6 million barrels per day of oil-equivalent to around 1.5 million — and says it's planning no exploration in new countries.
- BP plans to increase its low-carbon energy investments to $5 billion annually by 2030 — a tenfold increase but nonetheless still much smaller than current spending on its core businesses.
- BP, as part of that plan, hopes to develop 50 gigawatts of renewable generation capacity, which is 20 times last year's levels.
- Other goals include expansion of its hydrogen efforts and plans for a roughly tenfold increase in EV charging points to 70,000 by 2030.
Yes, but: Plans are just that, and even medium-term targets represent a multiyear horizon, so how the actual implementation unfolds remains uncertain