The newly installed CEO of multinational oil and gas giant BP (BP 0.24%) is taking the company in a decidedly more aggressive direction than his predecessor. In a post on LinkedIn, Bernard Looney said the company was "setting out to be a net zero (carbon emissions) company by 2050 or sooner." That's a bold goal for one of the biggest integrated oil and gas companies in the world, that generates more than 415 million tonnes of emissions each year directly from its operations and from the products it produces. 

Pipelines going to a refinery.

Image source: Getty Images.

Light on the details 

Looney said BP would "undertake the biggest" reorganization in more than a century. In addition to getting to zero-emissions from both its own operations and from the emissions from its upstream production by 2050 or sooner, BP also said it aimed to cut the carbon intensity of the products it sold by 2050 or sooner as well. 

But beyond setting those goals, the company didn't offer much by way of specific actions it would take, including no details on its plans to expand into renewable energy in a more pronounced way. The company did say it planned to grow low-carbon products and services businesses and advocate for progressive climate policies as part of its "reinvention," which is expected to also include substantial changes to the way BP is organized, but didn't outline any specific actions. 

Today's news comes on the tail of a fourth quarter earnings report that came in ahead of expectations, but was still well-below last year's quarterly results. BP reported only $18 million in net income on over $71 billion in revenue to end 2019, down from over $770 million in net income in the year-ago quarter.