BP dials back climate pledge amid soaring oil profits

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from The Washington Post,

The energy giant is aiming for a 20 to 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions, backing off of an earlier goal of 35 to 40 percent.

BP is scaling back its climate goals and deepening its investments in oil and gas, casting new doubts on big oil companies’ promises to embrace clean energy.

The British energy giant had aggressively embraced the energy transition, adopting a green starburst logo and the slogan, “Beyond Petroleum.” But on Tuesday, the company announced less ambitious targets for cutting oil production as it reported making more money than ever in 2022.

In its quarterly earnings report, the company said it made $27.7 billion last year, more than double its 2021 profits. It was the latest in a string of reported windfalls in the industry that are drawing rebuke all the way up to the Oval Office. Shell posted a $41.6 billion profit for last year, more than $10 billion higher than its previous record. ExxonMobil and Chevron both announced their highest profits ever, too, with $55.7 billion and $36.5 billion, respectively.

The companies are under increased financial pressure to tap the brakes on their clean power plans to focus more heavily on the core business.

Shareholder resolutions demanding the companies align their business activities with the commitments in the Paris accord on climate change won less support in 2022 than they did in 2021. In the case of Shell, for example, such a resolution from the Dutch shareholder activist group Follow This won just 20 percent of the vote, as compared with 30 percent a year earlier. The group’s proposal had the support of just a third of the shareholders at Chevron, after a similar proposal won 61 percent support in 2021.

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