BP’s CEO Bernard Looney gives backing to UK Prime Minister’s green industrial revolution plans, including the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel-engined cars and vans

BP logo and lorry

BP’s CEO Bernard Looney has expressed his support for prime minister Boris Johnson’s plans for a ‘green industrial revolution’, including backing the ban on new petrol and diesel-engined cars and vans.

Following the PM’s presentations at COP26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, which closed at the weekend, Looney said: “As both a major UK energy provider and global company headquartered here, we strongly support the PM’s vision for the UK to #BuildBackBetter and reach net zero by 2050”.

He said the same ambition had been set for BP, but the company’s alignment with the plan went well beyond that. He referred to the UK aim to store 10 million tonnes of CO2 a year by 2030, and to BP’s own carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) technology.

“On Teesside, we operate  ̶  on behalf of our partners  ̶  what we hope will be the nation’s first major CCUS project and maybe the world’s first zero-carbon industrial cluster, “ he said.

“The plan also calls for a ‘hydrogen town’ and 40GW of offshore wind by 2030 – both forms of energy are big parts of our future plans.

“And, as we’ve said before, we back the ban on new petrol and diesel cars/vans in 2030 – despite the impact on our fuels business.

“We already operate the UK’s largest EV charging network and aim to double it in the next 10 years, so we welcome the plan’s expansion of EV infrastructure.

“By prioritising this issue and backing it with good policy and sufficient funding, the government will spur on greater private sector investment and make the UK a global leader in the energy transition.

“It’s the right thing for the world, a tremendous business opportunity and we’re excited to play our part,” stressed Looney.

He talked about the projects BP is undertaking in the drive towards the company’s own net-zero target – some of which he said will also help to support the UK’s proposed green industrial revolution plans.

The projects include:

EV charging: Last year, BP Chargemaster began rolling out an infrastructure of 150kW ultra-fast electric vehicle (EV) chargers at BP retail sites that will eventually stretch across the UK. And this summer, Aral, BP’s fuel retail brand in Germany, announced plans to build more than 100 ultra-fast charging points at retail sites across the country. The new 350kW chargers will provide up to 350 kilometres of range in 10 minutes.

Offshore wind: In September, BP made its first move into offshore wind when it signed a strategic partnership with Equinor. Its first deal will be to develop major assets with the potential to power more than 2 million homes in the US.

Capturing carbon: BP operates Net Zero Teesside (NZT), which is aiming to develop the UK’s first decarbonised industrial cluster. In October, NZT joined up with Zero Carbon Humber to form the Northern Endurance Partnership, again with BP as operator, to develop the offshore infrastructure to transport and store millions of tonnes of CO2 emissions from two of the UK’s most carbon-intensive industrial clusters safely in a saline formation in the UK North Sea.

Developing hydrogen: BP has also taken the next step in its aim to build a new hydrogen business through a collaboration with offshore wind leader Ørsted in Germany. The company believes the joint project to produce ‘green’, emissions-free hydrogen at BP’s Lingen refinery – for use in the production of fuels – could play an important role in the development of technology to decarbonise heavy industry and transport.