Talk to ‘Green New Deal’ backers, BP CEO tells oil industry

HOUSTON: The oil industry should engage with proponents of the “Green New Deal,” a Democratic initiative seeking to radically reduce US dependence on fossil fuels, BP Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley (pictured) said on Tuesday.
Dudley made the rare foray into US politics in a keynote speech at the largest US annual gathering of the oil and natural gas sector in Houston, urging peers to engage with young people or lose the trust of society.
“We need to demonstrate that we share the common goal of a low-carbon future and that we are in action toward it,” Dudley said at the CERAWeek conference.
Burning of oil and gas accounts for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions blamed for climate change, rising sea levels and severe storms.
Energy companies including BP have increased their investments in renewable energies such as solar and wind in recent years as they look for a new business model in a world seeking to reduce carbon emissions.
But US rivals Exxon Mobil and Chevron have made fewer investments in clean energy in recent years, drawing growing pressure from investors and climate activists.
“Our focus has to be on developing an energy system that is cleaner, better and kinder to the planet,” Dudley, a US citizen, said.
“But we can only fully play our part if we have the trust of society and the confidence of our shareholders. That means engaging more with the young people who will take to the streets on Friday,” he said, referring to scheduled protests in more than 70 countries where kids plan to skip school to demand more action on climate change.
“It means improving the dialogue we have with policymakers around the world, including those behind the Green New Deal,” Dudley said.
The “Green New Deal” resolution was introduced earlier this year, seeking to create large, government-led investments in clean energy, infrastructure and social programmes. Republican lawmakers oppose the proposal, saying it is too expensive and would raise taxes and energy costs. — Reuters