Wednesday 28th September 2016                 Change text size:

BP: emissions to continue rising at unsustainable pace



coal power plant by Greg Goebel via Flickr

Oil giant BP has predicted that carbon emissions will continue to rise at an unsustainable pace over the next two decades unless additional significant steps are taken by policymakers to abate carbon emissions.

The company’s Energy Outlook 2035 looks at long-term energy trend in supply and demand and the likely shape of the energy sector in 20 years time.

The report notes that the energy sector needs to adapt to changes, from the energy mix changing as new sources of energy emerge to new policies created to address climate change or bolster energy security. Bob Dudley, chief executive of the group, adds that energy companies need to adapt and to build strategically for the longer term.

Between 2013 and 2035, BP predicts that total carbon emissions from energy consumption will increase by 25%. Whilst the rate of growth will slow, the profile for emissions is well above that recommended by the scientific community.

Renewables are predicated to gain market share rapidly, growing from around 3% of the energy mix today to 8% by 2035. However, as the projected emissions increase demonstrates, this will only have a modest impact when coupled with a growing population and emerging economies beginning to use more power.

Dudley states, “The most likely path for carbon emissions despite current government policies and intentions, does not appear sustainable. The projections highlight the scale of the challenge facing policymakers at this year’s UN-led discussion in Paris.

“No single change or policy is likely to be sufficient on it own. And identifying in advance which changes are likely to be most effective is fraught with difficulty. This underpins the importance of policymakers taking steps that lead to a global price for carbon, which provides the right incentives for everyone to play their part.”

BP, along with Shell, recently faced calls to disclose business risk associated with climate change after more than 150 investors filed a resolution. Shell responded to the resolution by issuing a letter urging to shareholders to back the move.

Photo: Greg Goebel via Flickr

Further reading:

Shell and BP face investor calls for transparency on climate change risks

BP Olympic sustainability partnership ‘beggars belief’

Oil giant BP in 2013 profits slump

London councils among investors suing BP over Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Shell backs shareholder resolution on climate risk


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