A key oil and gas company is saying that governments internationally need to put a price on carbon to increase the percentage of renewables, natural gas and energy efficiency. BP’s Chief Executive Bob Dudley said in the company’s “BP Energy Outlook 2035” that even though carbon emissions will grow at a slower rate than in the past, they will still rise overall.
BP is part of a group of oil companies that favor such action: ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell and StatOil. Those companies don’t generally advocate for taxes or restrictions but they think that such measures would be more efficient than a patchwork of international laws. Moreover, they have major investments in natural gas, which is expected to continue to be the fastest growing fuel in the United States.
“In BP, we continue to believe that carbon pricing has an important part to play as it provides incentives for everyone — producers and consumers alike — to play their part,” Dudley said at a news conference in London last week, as reported by USA Today.
The projected annual growth is 0.6% a year until 2035. That compares to 2.1% per year for the last two decades, the outlook says. But the report adds that despite the lower annual growth rate, total carbon emissions from energy use will rise by 13% by 2035, USA Today reports. It notes that the International Energy Agency in Paris says that carbon emissions need to fall by 30% over the next 18 years.
“That,” according to Dudley, “flags up the need for further policy action,” reports the paper.
BP says that it would favor either a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade program. Australia, Ireland and Sweden have some variance of a carbon tax while China has said it would implement a cap-and-trade program, USA Today says. BP says that putting a price on carbon would reduce carbon emissions and increase the demand for alternative energy.