‘Sickening’ – Green groups slam BP for slashing emissions target amid record profits
Environmental groups have condemned oil giant BP for slashing emissions targets when its profits hit record highs.
The company said that it had slashed its emissions reduction targets by a third, and will produce much more oil and gas by the end of this decade than previously thought – sparking fury from environmental groups and politicians.
BP said that profit reached £23 billion last year, just days after Shell reported its highest profit on record at nearly £33 billion.
Greenpeace UK’s head of climate justice Kate Blagojevic said: "Not only will BP’s new strategy fail to deliver much-needed energy security in the UK but it will ensure that people across the globe already battling devastating droughts, floods and heatwaves, will continue losing their lives and livelihoods."
Campaign group Global Justice Now said BP’s profit haul was "sickening" and called for a polluters’ tax.
Director Nick Dearden said: "It should sicken people to their core that BP is responsible for more global historic emissions than most countries on earth, yet has no plans to stop polluting even in the face of a global climate crisis.
Enough is enough. It’s time to bring in a polluters tax and hold BP truly accountable for the destruction they’ve wreaked across the planet.”
Connor Schwartz, climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “Inflation is soaring, real-terms pay has nosedived and energy bills are set to rise higher still in April.
“Fossil fuel companies shouldn’t be able to reap such massive profits while people are paying exorbitant energy costs.
Trades Union Congress general secretary Paul Nowak said BP was “laughing all the way to the bank”.
"Ministers are letting big oil and gas companies pocket billions in excess profits,” he added. “But they are refusing to give nurses, teachers and other key workers a decent pay rise."
Labour shadow climate change secretary Ed Miliband said: "What is so outrageous is that as fossil fuel companies rake in these enormous sums, Rishi Sunak still refuses to bring in a proper windfall tax that would make them pay their fair share.
"In just eight weeks’ time, the government plans to allow the energy price cap to rise to £3,000. Labour would use a proper windfall tax to stop prices going up in April."
Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey said: "Yet another oil giant has been allowed to rake in huge profits from (Vladimir) Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, while families choose between eating and heating.
"Rishi Sunak has failed the people of this country by ignoring calls for a proper windfall tax. "This Conservative government need to start putting people first instead of allowing energy bills to rise again this April.’’
🚨 BREAKING: Oil and gas giant BP has DOUBLED it’s annual profits to a RECORD £23,000,000,000
— Greenpeace UK (@GreenpeaceUK) February 7, 2023
BP had been one of the first oil and gas majors in the world to announce an ambition to cut emissions to net zero by 2050.
As part of this, it has previously promised that emissions will be 35-40 per cent lower by the end of this decade.
However, on Tuesday the company said it was significantly revising this target to a 20-30 per cent cut.
Boss Bernard Looney said it was about investing in both the transition and the energy that is needed today as he announced an extra $8 billion (£6.6 billion) for oil and gas investment by 2030 and another $8 billion for transition projects.
"With today’s announcement we are leaning further in," he said.
"We are growing our investment into our transition and, at the same time, growing investment into today’s energy system.”
BP said that it now plans to cut oil and gas production by just 25 per cent by the end of 2030 when compared to 2019. The previous target had been a 40 per cent cut.