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Introduction from Bernard Looney, chief executive officer

In February of this year, bp announced a new purpose – to reimagine energy for people and our ?planet. This purpose was supported by a new ambition, to be a net-zero company by 2050 or sooner ?and to help get the world to net zero.
“This year’s Outlook explores three main scenarios – Rapid, Net Zero and Business-as-usual – which ?span a wide range of possible outcomes. Those three scenarios have helped us to develop a strategy ?that we think is robust to the uncertainty around the pace and nature of the energy transition?.”


Bernard Looney, chief executive oficer

Bernard Looney, chief executive officer

Our new purpose and ambition are underpinned by four fundamental judgements about the future. ?That the world is on an unsustainable path and its carbon budget is running out. That energy markets ?will undergo lasting change, shifting towards renewable and other forms of zero- or low-carbon ?energy. That demand for oil and gas will be increasingly challenged. And that, alongside many others, ?bp can contribute to the energy transition that the world wants and needs, and create value doing ?so.?


In August, we set out a new strategy in support of this purpose and ambition. It will see bp transform ?from an International Oil Company focused on producing resources to an Integrated Energy ?Company focused on delivering solutions for customers. From IOC to IEC. And while the Covid-19 ?pandemic has had a huge impact on the global economy and energy markets, it has not affected our ?belief in and commitment to our purpose, ambition and strategy.? ?

We consider three scenarios

That belief and commitment is in no small part down to the objective analysis that goes into every ?edition of the Energy Outlook. It does not to try to predict precise future outcomes – any attempt to ?do that is doomed to fail. Instead, it helps us to understand the many uncertainties ahead – in the ?near and longer term – by considering a range of possible pathways the energy transition may take ?over the next 30 years. This year’s Outlook explores three main scenarios – Rapid, Net Zero and ?Business-as-usual – which span a wide range of possible outcomes. Those three scenarios have ?helped us to develop a strategy that we think is robust to the uncertainty around the pace and ?nature of the energy transition. ?

Three features are common across those scenarios and they form a set of core beliefs as to how ?energy demand is likely to change over the next three decades: ?


  • Renewable energy will play an increasingly important role in meeting the world’s growing energy ?needs. ?
  • Customers will continue to redefine mobility and convenience, underpinned by the mobility ?revolution that is already underway combining electric vehicles, shared mobility and autonomy.?
  • Oil and gas – while remaining needed for decades – will be increasingly challenged as society ?shifts away from its reliance on fossil fuels.?

The consumer will drive change

And those core beliefs lead us to three more about how the energy system will change out to 2050: ?


  • The energy mix will become more diverse, driven increasingly by customer choice rather than ?resource availability.?
  • Markets will need more integration to accommodate this more diverse supply and will become ?more localized as the world electrifies and the role of hydrogen expands.?
  • Countries, cities and industries will increasingly want their decarbonized energy and mobility ?needs met with bespoke solutions, shifting the centre of gravity of energy markets towards ?consumers and away from traditional upstream producers.?


The Energy Outlook has been tracking and analysing the trajectory of the world’s energy system for ?the past 10 years. This year’s Outlook has been instrumental in the development of the new strategy ?we announced in August. I hope it is useful to everyone else seeking ways to accelerate the energy ?transition and get to net zero.?We welcome any feedback on the content and how we can improve.

Bernard Looney signature

Bernard Looney

Chief executive officer

September 2020