Climate Change Symposium 14 June 2021
Carbon Commitments and the Future for the Energy Sector
Thank you for the opportunity to speak at today’s symposium.
The global pictureWe can all agree that the world is not on a sustainable path and climate change is a complex challenge that requires countries and companies across the world to make fundamental changes and at pace to address this challenge.
To realize the Paris Agreement and enable the energy transition will mean radical changes in economic activity, investment decisions, policy – and above all, it must be an inclusive process.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world needs to cut emissions by 7.6% each year between 2020 and 2030 to be on track for limiting warming to 1.5oC.
To put this into context there was an estimated 5.8% drop in emissions in 2020 as COVID-19 lockdown measures were implemented globally to curb spread of the virus.
What’s concerning is that this emissions reduction target of 7.6% yearly needs to be achieved without bringing the global economy to a standstill.
We also know that the world demand for energy will continue to grow.
bp’s Energy Outlook predicts that over the next 30 years, the increasing prosperity and living standards in emerging countries will drive global energy demand.
At the same time, societies around the world will increasingly demand energy that is affordable, reliable and clean.
This will certainly have implications for the energy sector.
We are seeing increasing pressure not just coming from environmental groups but also coming from the court rooms and the make-up of board rooms, for us to move faster towards cleaner energy solutions.
bp’s new direction So how are companies like bp responding?
Last year we announced our new purpose – to reimagine energy for the people and planet.
We will change the way we deliver energy.
We also launched a bold new ambition – to be a net zero company by 2050 or sooner and to help the world get to net zero.
To achieve this, we introduced our new strategy – to pivot from an international oil company (IOC) to an integrated energy company (IEC).
We will shift our focus from primarily hydrocarbons, to offering energy solutions to our customers.
This strategy will better position us to meet the world’s changing energy needs.
We have also developed a sustainability frame, aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to guide how we put our strategy into action.
It comprises 20 aims including becoming a net zero carbon emitter, reducing methane intensity in our operations, investing into renewable forms of energy and providing more clean energy to the world.
In spite of the global pandemic, last year bp forged ahead with plans for achieving our strategy and delivering our ambition.
We’ve made considerable investments into the development of wind and solar power and we’ve formed strategic partnerships to grow our renewables business.
Our aim is to produce 50 gigawatts of renewable power by the end of this decade – a 20-fold increase from what we currently produce.
We recognize the importance of relationships in the energy transition and in realizing some of our aims to help the world get to net zero, we’ve also partnered with cities like Houston and Aberdeen to help them decarbonize.
Additionally, we are working towards cutting operational emissions by 30-35% by 2030.
Our global Energy Outlook predicts that renewables alone will not meet global energy demand, so hydrocarbons will still be needed for decades to come – but in cleaner forms.
We see gas as continuing to play a key role in the transition; in displacing coal in emerging economies, as a partner to renewables to address intermittency issues and as a source of low carbon energy when combined with CCUS, and as a feedstock for blue hydrogen.
This means that Trinidad as a gas-based economy is well placed to navigate the transition.
However, we need to make sure that our gas industry remains competitive and resilient and we have to find ways to decarbonize our gas value chains creating cleaner energy exports such as green ammonia, lower carbon LNG and possibly hydrogen.
bp’s Trinidad business is already shifting and adapting to our new company strategy; we are working hard at improving efficiency and reducing cost to stay competitive to attract investment, we are in action to reduce emissions in our operations and have already achieved over 33000 tonnes of sustainable emission reductions and we are partnering with LightsourceBP and Shell to develop TTs first commercial scale solar project.
We are committed to being part of the solution.
We acknowledge that green companies are essential to the energy transition, but unfortunately there are not enough green companies to have the impact at the scale and pace needed to meet the Paris goals.
For this reason, we believe there is need to support greening companies – that is - companies that are not low carbon today but have an ambition to become lower carbon in the future.
These greening companies, like bp, acknowledge that the world wants change, have identified opportunities for change, are working on delivering it – and have the capabilities and scale to contribute toward global decarbonization.
We know that the energy transition will take time.
It will require large investments, rewiring of global energy systems and driving decarbonization policies.
It is anticipated that $110 trillion will be required by 2050 to transform the energy system.
While these changes are being made to transition to cleaner and greener forms of energy, natural gas will continue to play an active role in the transition.
We believe that the convergence of energies – be it combining wind and solar, or natural gas and other forms of energy, will create a stable offer for consumers – providing clean, affordable and firm energy.
Navigating this transition however requires commitment, collaboration and partnership from governments and industries alike – all moving in the same direction – on the path to decarbonization.
That’s why symposiums such as these are important to bring together the right stakeholders with ideas and solutions and to help catalyze these into concrete actions.
I thank the UNDP for hosting this event and the members of parliament for the opportunity to share my thoughts with you today.