BP said on Monday it will keep carbon emissions flat over the decade to 2025 even as its oil and gas ouput is set to grow, responding to rising investor pressure to help tackle climate change.
The London-based company said it plans to reduce emissions of CO2 gases by 3.5 million tonnes by 2025 through higher production of gas, the least polluting fossil fuel, reducing leakage of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and limiting flaring of excess gas.
BP also plans to invest up to $500 million per year on renewable energies such as solar, wind and power storage.
As a result, BP said it plans to keep net emissions from its operations stable between 2015 and 2025. The company uses its 2015 emissions of 51.2 million tonnes of CO2 as a baseline.
"We now know that a race to renewables will not be enough. To deliver significantly lower emissions every type of energy needs to be cleaner and better," Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley said in a statement.
Dudley has led calls for the energy sector to play a leading role in the transition towards low-carbon energy following a landmark 2015 Paris agreement to limit global warming by the end of the century.
He nevertheless said that expected growth in demand for energy means oil and gas companies such as BP will have to invest in new production while slowly growing a low carbon business.
BP's near-term targets contrast with ambitions that rival Royal Dutch Shell outlined last November to halve emissions from its operations as well as from fuel it sells by 2050, known as scope 3 emissions.
BP's reduction targets do not include scope 3.
The company planned to grow its production by 900,000 barrels per day of oil and gas between 2015 and 2021. Its production was around 3.6 million bpd in 2017.
Reporting by Ron Bousso