Although the coming days and weeks will continue to be filled with uncertainty, one thing we can be sure of is the world that emerges
from this pandemic will be vitally different than the one that entered it.
Our planet as we knew it has changed in a matter of days. During these
days of lockdown, we have seen nature heal itself. Along with the intense hardships people are facing, the pandemic is bringing winds of change, showing us that restraint and corrective measures can and will bring about a much-needed climate renewal. As the planet struggles to recover, we see
encouraging signs manifested in significant decreases in pollution levels and bluer skies, cleaner rivers, glimpses of animals and birds taking back the cities and towns. It is also bringing us together as a family and community; making us depend on each other.
Coming out of this pandemic, people will change the way they look at and value work, life, relationships; everything around us and what’s important. My conviction is that, as part of this, the global energy transition will be accelerated by this cataclysm. One can expect governments and businesses around the world, to increase spends on technologies to bring in the dual benefit of stimulating economies and accelerating clean energy transitions. Changes in the way we work or live will aid this. It will be the need of the hour; and indeed, the right thing to do.
The testing times we are going through only reaffirm the need to reinvent our businesses. The world’s carbon budget is finite and running out fast; we need a rapid transition to net zero. bp’s new purpose of reimagining energy for people and our planet and our ambition to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner holds as strong as ever. Our intention is to invest more in low carbon businesses and invest wisely, into businesses where we can add value, develop at scale, and deliver competitive returns.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen steep falls in stock markets and
commodity prices – which have affected all of us in one way or the other. Liquidity is key in these times. To protect the health of our companies we need to make interventions to reduce capital and operational spending. bp is strong and, more importantly, we have navigated challenges like this before. We know what to do. And we will do it as best as we can. However, we must not forget our purpose or our core values. This is what will differentiate us!
It is clear to me, that for us to play our part and serve our purpose, we must do the right thing at this time for the world. As we strive to serve the
communities around us in these challenging times of a global health challenge, I am filled with pride to belong to bp. Across the globe we are supporting those essential services who are selflessly working to protect and save us. In India, we are working with government hospitals and those at the frontline, to help procure critical equipment and PPE. Our outreach and support to many others affected by the situation such as policemen, garbage collectors, daily wage earners and truckers has helped us bring alive the bp value of respect. Working for and with people and communities is an integral part of doing our business. This means a lot to me; as we live our purpose of reimagining energy for the people and the planet.
I also see an opportunity of growth in these unprecedented times. As we struggle, yet embrace a wholly new way of working from home, we must utilize this time to upskill ourselves with the wealth of virtual learning options available to us. While we weather this crisis, we will see a new and more skilled workforce coming to the fore. So, as I said at the beginning – we will certainly emerge very different from this pandemic than when we entered it. Different in a good way. We will emerge stronger, more compassionate and ready to put our hard-won learning into practice. As you reimagine the world; we at bp will be there to reimagine energy for you.
Views expressed here are personal.