What a difference a year makes.
This time last year climate change dominated the headlines.
One year on - we meet at a time when the world has changed fundamentally - and attention is focused on the impacts of COVID-19 and how this will permanently change the way we live, work and socialise.
It has further awoken society to the fragility of our
global ecosystems and the need for us to create a more sustainable way of living and of consuming the earth’s natural resources.
Aside from the health crisis - the energy price shock
caused by OPEC failing to reach agreement on production cuts - and the economic crisis caused by the response to COVID-19 - has been an awakening for the energy industry and those countries who rely on energy exports.
Now, more than ever, we need to accelerate our drive -to improve energy efficiency - to take action to decarbonize our energy systems and - create new low carbon business
There are two schools of thought on the impact of
COVID-19 will be on achieving the Paris goals;
· some believe that energy transition efforts will be stymied as large energy corporations drastically cut their capital expenditures - -and governments can no longer afford to subsidize clean energy.
· others - believe the government stimulus programmes and accelerated innovation in the private sector will allow many economies to “leap frog” their development of new, cleaner energy systems.
Despite these varying opinions we know that after the
world comes to grips with COVID-19, the concerns around climate change will remain and the world cannot afford to pause its efforts in tackling those challenges.
What does the data say?
Last week bp released our ‘statistical review of world energy’ and it shows that based on the current trajectory, global CO2 emissions are projected to grow by around 10% by 2040 - - but to meet the Paris climate goals, emissions would need to fall by close to 50%. There is some positive news – although energy consumption is still growing:
· The increase in 2019 was driven by renewables and natural gas, which together contributed three quarters of the growth we saw last year.
· Renewable energy currently provides 10% of power globally and is the fastest growing source of energy - and last year - the share of both renewables and natural gas
in primary energy consumption increased to record highs.
· AND - Renewables are expected to contribute half of the growth in global energy supplies and become the largest source of power by 2040.
So, positive news - but - the task ahead - to transition global energy systems to lower carbon - is a
Currently, around 300 billion dollars a year is invested in new energies. To keep to a 2-degree temperature rise, that investment has to become one trillion dollars. For 1.5-degrees, it has to be 2.5 trillion.
There is a lot to be done and we can’t waver in our focus on climate change. This is the backdrop to our conversations over the coming days.
What’s bp’s role in the energy transition?
In February this year bp laid out its ambition to be a Net Zero company by 2050 or sooner and to help the
world to get to net zero. We are also aiming to cut the carbon intensity of the products we sell in half by 2050 or sooner.
That’s because the world will continue to need more energy but energy that is not just reliable and affordable - but also cleaner and kinder to our planet.
To achieve our ambition will mean tackling around 415 million tonnes of emissions – 55 from our operations and 360 from the carbon content of our upstream oil and gas
production. These are absolute reductions, which is what the world needs most of all.
Our ambition has 10 aims.
Five are focused on becoming a net zero company: These
· a focus on attaining net zero in our operations,
· halving carbon intensity in the products we sell - and
· reducing methane emissions.
The other five aims focus on helping the world
to get to net zero:
· Finding solutions to help cities to decarbonize,
· promoting transparency in climate-related financial disclosures,
· reframing relationships with trade associations,
· incentivizing employees to deliver on our aims - and
· focusing our advocacy on climate change issues
In announcing these aims we also recognise that
attaining them will not be easy but “The direction is set. We are heading for net zero. There is no turning back.”
In Trinidad and Tobago
In Trinidad and Tobago, the momentum towards a lower
carbon future continues - as this conference demonstrates.
Conferences like this play a crucial role in creating
pathways to the future which is why we continue to support this conference.
It provides the forum to connect - companies,
entrepreneurs, regulators, policy makers, NGOs and other civil society groups - to discuss climate and energy issues - share insights - consider emerging technologies - emerging ideas and emerging business opportunities.
Hydrogen is one of those emerging opportunities. Hydrogen is a fuel of the future and Trinidad and Tobago’s incumbency in ammonia production means the potential exists for this country to play a key role in the developing hydrogen economy.
The ideas that will be shared at this conference will no doubt take us one step closer to leveraging -
· the installed infrastructure and existing know-how; as well as
· supporting industries to create new business opportunities - and - new business models that can enable Hydrogen.
bpTT remains committed to playing its role to help
Trinidad and Tobago find pathways to a lower carbon future.
And that commitment will continue to drive our actions
We have built a strong gas business here and we know
that gas will continue to play an important role in the energy transition for decades to come.
We have developed a low carbon strategy for our
Trinidad business that will seek to optimise our existing gas business while also working to achieve our net zero ambitions. This strategy is focused on three
· The first is operational emissions - reducing emissions and improving energy efficiency in our existing and future operations
· The second is value chain emissions - pursuing opportunities to decarbonize gas value chains through technologies such as Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS) - and exploring new low carbon
business models such as solar and hydrogen
· The third is working in partnership with other stakeholders to support Trinidad and Tobago in its own energy transition ambitions.
Starting last year we set annual goals for sustainable emission reductions. To achieve these goals our teams are working on projects across the business that look at areas
· power generation and energy efficiency,
· facility design,
· logistics and infrastructure,
· operational activities such as flaring and purging -
· we have created a hopper of projects that we will be
getting after to reduce our emissions over the coming years.
At a wider - or national - level we have leveraged the power of partnerships - to help Trinidad and Tobago achieve a lower carbon future. These initiatives include:
Our partnership with LightsourceBP and consortium
partner Shell - on Trinidad and Tobago’s first commercial scale renewables energy project. We are excited at the possibility to be a part of this country’s thrust towards power generation from renewables.
This project will be a key step in delivering the Nationally Determined Contributions that underpin the Paris
Agreement. Achieving 10% of power generation from renewable sources would set us on a solid foundation to deliver the goal of 15% reduction in GHG from industry, power generation and transportation by 2030.
The consortium is in negotiations with the Government
so I can’t give any more details, but these are definitely exciting times for Trinidad and Tobago and progress is being made.
Another important area of partnership - is in educating the public on the importance of energy conservation and energy efficiency. To support this, we are pleased to be partnering with - the Ministry of Public Utilities and Shell -on a school education programme through the Pennacool platform which will deliver online content to primary school children.
We’re excited about this partnership as it will help
to bring the younger generation into the climate and low carbon conversation. That is already happening, but this is a great way to arm them with the information they need to eventually form their own opinions and make decisions about their energy consumption patterns and hopefully
influence other members of their family in the process. They need to be educated and empowered to continue to drive change in the future.
Sticking with the theme of partnership, we have also supported an effort by UTT, UWI and the University of Texas to explore opportunities for CCUS. After an initial workshop in 2019 work has continued to move from ideas to ways in which we can make CCUS a reality here.
And finally - partnering with the country as we think much longer term about what the energy transition means for T&T. We are tapping into our global teams and experts and making the resources of bp’s Advancing the Energy Transition (AET) team available to the Government and other stakeholders to study our existing energy systems and identify pathways to allow Trinidad and Tobago to transition to a sustainable low carbon future.
That is a snapshot of how bp is working to achieve net zero as a company and to support national efforts. We are doing a lot but there is much more to be done. What is clear is that the world will continue to need more energy, but energy that is kinder to our planet. Gas will play an important role in the energy transition, but we need to work at decarbonizing our gas value chains. Very soon regulators, traders and consumers will become more discerning on the carbon intensity of the products they allow - into their territories, they trade, or they consume.
It is in all of our best interests to be prepared and proactive in this transition.
I am encouraged by the momentum that is
building at a national and global level to tackle these difficult issues - and I have no doubt that this year’s conference will help Trinidad and Tobago move
towards a lower carbon future.
All of us whether private sector, government, or NGO -
have a role to play - and we must all commit to making the necessary changes now and to act decisively. We need to do as much as we can to give future generations a chance to experience the world at least the way we know it, and hopefully even better.
bp remains committed to the journey.