BP CEO Bernard Looney has said more investment in oil and gas is needed to ensure an orderly transition away from those same fossil fuels.
The British executive made the pitch during International Energy Week in London on Tuesday amid rising energy prices and climate protests.
He explained his logic by stating that reducing supply “without also reducing demand, inevitably leads to price spikes,” and that “price spikes lead to economic volatility.” If that happens, “there is a risk that volatility will undermine public support for the transition,Looney said.
His proposed solution is to invest in the existing oil and gas system.but also invest in the transition” to more climate-friendly energy sources.
As Looney made his pitch, protesters blocked the entrance to the InterContinental London Park Lane hotel where the energy conference was taking place. Activists held signs reading “Climate criminals come in here,” “No new oil”, and calls for Looney to be tried at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Earlier this month, OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al-Ghais also called for a pause in climate change talks. He argued that the countries pursuing green energy should slow down and “look at the big picture.” They should work “towards an energy transition that is orderly, inclusive and contributes to energy security for all”, he added.
Fossil fuel prices have soared since Western countries imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russia last year in response to the conflict in Ukraine. That’s what the restrictions were for “to punish” and putting pressure on Moscow, as one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of oil and natural gas. However, the effect was the opposite: energy prices in Europe skyrocketed with limited supply.
In December, Europe again tried to damage Russia’s position in the oil market by imposing a price cap on crude oil exports from the country by sea. However, an International Energy Agency (IEA) report earlier this month found that these sanctions had only helped Moscow find new oil markets, with exports to China hitting a new record.
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