2020 cast a lasting legacy in the history record and whilst it certainly isn’t a year to be repeated, as the saying goes, ‘every cloud has a silver lining’. The silver lining in this story is the dramatic decline in the demand for oil.
National lockdowns and global travel restrictions instigated the collapse in the demand for oil in 2020, costing multinational oil companies billions in losses.
In 2020, BP made a loss of £4.2billion and cut more than 10,000 jobs in the process. As a result of the pandemic, BP share prices fell to an all time 26-year low!
Whilst this is bad news for the economy and the workforce that lost their jobs during this already stressful time, BP, following community pressure, pledged to become ‘net-zero’ by 2050.
Now, I’ll let you make your own opinion, and maybe identify the controversy of an intense carbon producing company pledging to stop emitting carbon….but let’s have hope…and some faith! So far the movement is looking promising since in 2018, the company bought the UK’s biggest electric vehicle charge point business ‘Chargemaster’ and by 2030, the company has set to increase its use of renewable energy from 3.2GW (gigawatts) to 50GW.
Shell was another major oil company who saw sales plummet during 2020. So much so, the company lost £16 billion.
The Chief Executive, Ben van Beurden called 2020 an “extraordinary” year and stated that Shell will “come out of 2020 stronger” ready to “accelerate the strategy for the future of energy”. This comes as a response to Shell moving towards their greener energy plans.
One of these green plans was announced in January 2021, as Shell bought an electric vehicle car charging company called ‘Ubriticty’!
The story repeats itself with Exxon, one of America’s largest oil producers, losing £16.4 billion during the pandemic.
In respect to the movement to renewables, the company has stated that over the next four years it will invest £3 billion in “lower emissions solutions” although as for big changes, the company appears to be holding back basing their strategies on the price of oil in the coming months and years….
So with all this said and done, was Covid the kickstart needed to push the movement towards renewables?
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