Oil giant BP tries to lecture ordinary people on the climate crisis. It backfires spectacularly.

oil giant BP regularly holds meetings with government ministers
Ed Sykes

Oil giant BP seems to be on a PR offensive at the moment. And in an apparent attempt to distract from its own massive role in global climate breakdown, it’s essentially lecturing ordinary people on how they can do more to reduce their impact.

BP searching for sympathy

Speaking at the One Young World conference in London, BP chief executive Bob Dudley said:

It isn’t the producers of energy only, it’s the users of energy. We’ve had generations of using energy… so we’re all part of the problem. …

We [BP] want to be part of leading this transition but we also work in places that have no energy so it’s going to take a little longer than people would like.

Other speakers at the conference include Richard Branson and the CEO of Coca-Cola.

BP chief economist Spencer Dale, meanwhile, added:

I think the concept of looking for somebody to blame is not really the right way of thinking about this. It’s unhelpful. …

I think we’re [BP] part of the solution.

Dale, formerly chief economist at the Bank of England, insisted that people needed to recognise there were “two parts” to the problem. And he said:

we want to be known as progressive. But to make this happen I think that governments also need to step up.


BP also tweeted out a tool for ordinary people to check their carbon footprint. But renowned author Naomi Klein turned this on its head, revealing how citizens and their governments could really “step up” to reduce carbon emissions:

Others on Twitter also tore into BP’s cynical PR by exposing its own terrible record:

There are, of course, many things that we can all do to tackle the climate emergency. But that means nothing if we don’t take on the powerful corporations most responsible for the crisis. And that’s precisely why BP’s PR efforts backfired so spectacularly.

Featured image via Mike Mozart, with additional content via Press Association

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  • Show Comments
    1. I think it was always about blaming us and our domestic waste for the industrial waste they’re producing. They’ll put filters on smokestacks and at the end of discharge pipes and tell us they’ve done their bit, so all other pollution must be caused by Joe and Jane Average. If she’s still around this time next year I suspect that will also be Greta’s message as she points at all of us and away from industry.

      Same with plastic waste in the oceans which has to be industrial dumping at sea. The volumes are such that it would take thousands of people every day along beaches throughout the world throwing plastic into the sea and hoping it’s carried out instead of being washed back in. Our waste would litter the shores.

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