Looney no muppet as he finds the truth about the hard work needed to go green

Wednesday 01 March 2023 06:30

BP boss Bernard Looney said the green transition would not be possible without some dirty work

It’s not easy being green, sang Kermit the Frog once upon a time. The puppet frog was right; heading towards net zero will take an extraordinary amount of hard work.

Well done, then, to Bernard Looney, the boss of BP, for saying what so few are prepared to say: the road to a greener future goes directly through the energy majors and the products they are still get out of the ground.

Few politicians seem to understand this – certainly if they do, they willingly ignore it in their public pronouncements.

Many on the left and right have rallied behind the most extreme voices, who seem to believe that the green energy capacity needed to power a transition to net zero can be evoked by nonsensical protests in art galleries rather than by energy companies with capital to invest.

BP is often in the crosshairs; his sponsorship of art exhibitions drew particular anger, as if ripping off a Vermeer paid for wind turbines.

As Ed Conway, Sky News’ economics editor, has made clear, few of the goals of the net zero movement can be achieved without natural resources. Try building a wind turbine without mining copper from the ground; it will not work.

In low-carbon energy, the level of investment by our largest energy companies far exceeds that of any other organization. The City is already acting quickly to fund green projects. Fair play to Looney – he’s right.

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