BP boosts solar power investment

Chief says BP is ready to take climate change threat seriously

The Chief Executive of oil giant BP has announced a significant boost in investment in the company's solar power business, with the aim of increasing sales from the present $100 million (Ecu 88 million) to $1 billion over the next decade. Speaking at Stanford University in California on Monday evening, John Browne said that he believed solar power would become competitive in supplying peak electricity demand within the next 10 years. He also revealed that BP is working with US environmental group, the Environmental Defense Fund, to develop national voluntary emissions trading systems for greenhouse gases. Mr Browne said that the company had reached an "important moment" in recognising that although the link between greenhouse gases is not conclusively proven, "it would be unwise and potentially dangerous to ignore the mounting concern" over climate change. The environmental group, Greenpeace, welcomed BP's increased investment in solar power but criticised the company for continuing an "aggressive sea rch" for new fossil fuel reserves. The group said that the company had "yet to signal which way it is going to go" on the climate change issue.

Follow Up:
BP, tel: +44 171 496 5005; Greenpeace International, tel: +31 20 523 6222.

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