BP sets target to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050

The new boss of BP is promising to reduce the company’s greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 or sooner. The plans also include cutting the carbon intensity of BP products by 50 per cent over the same timeline. Bernard Looney, who took over as chief executive last week, says it “will certainly be a challenge, but also a tremendous opportunity”. He says the company needs to “reinvent” itself to keep up as the world transitions to cleaner forms of energy.

The new boss says he’ll overhaul the organisation’s structure to help achieve this pledge, and in the long term there’ll be more investment in low carbon businesses and less in oil and gas. BP is yet to outline how rapid reductions will be made to hit the net zero target, but further information is expected to be announced in the coming months.

BP isn’t the first energy giant to pledge to cut it’s emissions – Royal Dutch and Total have both made similar promises, however BP’s target is more ambitious. The company has faced growing criticism from the public over its involvement in the climate crisis, including a number of protests at its offices in London. Greenpeace says “averting climate catastrophe can’t wait and claims the plans aren’t “ambitious or anywhere near enough”.

HS2 gets the green light from Boris Johnson

The Prime Minister has given the go ahead to the controversial HS2 project that could cost the country more than £100 billion. The announcement means work will continue on the first part of the high-speed railway project connecting London to Birmingham, before the second phase to Manchester and Leeds.

This decision puts an end to months of back and forth over the future of the project, which one government official describes as the “biggest infrastructure decision since World War Two”. Boris Johnson says it’s been a “controversial and difficult decision”, and that a full-time minister is being appointed to oversee the project. There’s been concerns from both Conservative and Labour MPs over the exact route, as well as how delayed and over budget the whole project is. But supporters of the scheme say it will create jobs, reduce over crowding on trains and help rebalance the UK’s economy.

The new line is expected to make journeys a lot quicker, and allow trains to carry up to 1,100 people and reach speeds of up to 250mph. It’s also thought there’ll be as many as 14 running per hour in each direction. The Department of Transport says travelling between London and Birmingham will be cut from one hour 21 minutes to 52 minutes. This first part of the high-speed rail link was due to open by the end of 2026, however Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, told MPs in September 2019 that it may now be 2028-2031 before the first trains run on the route. The second phase to Manchester and Leeds was expected to open on 2032-2033 but has been pushed back to 2035-2040.