The oil industry would do well to engage the supporters of the Green New Deal in dialogue, BP’s chief executive Bob Dudley said at this week’s CERAWeek in Texas.
“We need to demonstrate that we share the common goal of a low-carbon future and that we are in action toward it,” Dudley said as quoted by Reuters.
According to the executive of one of the biggest oil companies with one of the worst environmental reputations, the oil industry needs to engage with Green New Deal proponents as a way of keeping the trust of society.
“Our focus has to be on developing an energy system that is cleaner, better and kinder to the planet,” Dudley said. “But we can only fully play our part if we have the trust of society and the confidence of our shareholders. That means engaging more with the young people who will take to the streets on Friday.”
School children from more than 70 countries will skip school on Friday to protest against climate change, demanding more action from governments and businesses.
“It means improving the dialogue we have with policymakers around the world, including those behind the Green New Deal,” Dudley said.
The Green New Deal proposed by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was met with severe criticism by Republican lawmakers but won the praise of the environmentalist lobby. Critics note the price tag of the initiative, which a right-leaning organization estimated at US$93 trillion. However, supporters argue that not doing anything to combat climate change will cost a lot more in the long run.
The oil industry is hardly a natural partner for Green New Dealers given its very nature and the focus of the GND on eliminating their products from the energy mix of the United States. Yet the oil industry has already begun making inroads into cleaner energy sources, and a dialogue with the green lobby might not be such a bad idea, even if it is for reputation management purposes.
By Irina Slav