Parents can be good — often unintentionally — at make their kids cringe, whether it’s so-called ‘dad dancing’ or using text speak such as YOLO (you only live once) in an attempt to appear trendy.
However, the Generation Z zeitgeist means parents’ career choices can be more than just cringeworthy for their offspring.
“I care about the climate, but my dad works in the oil industry,” says a teenager from Surrey, in the UK.
Thirteen-year-old Stephanie is concerned about the impact of fossil fuels on global warming, but her father, Andrew, is a senior BP employee who has worked in the oil industry for more than 20 years.
“Does this mean he doesn’t care about my future? Does this mean by default that I don’t care about the planet?”, she asks.
Climate change is a hot topic at home and father and daughter always have “interesting” conversations.
While Stephanie worries about the Earth's future, she hopes BP's sustainability commitments could make her dad part of the solution.
On the BBC Young Reporter Website, Stephanie talks about her environmental dilemma and interviews her dad, who works in procurement for the UK supermajor.
“BP emitted about 374 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent last year from its oilfields to its clients’ car exhausts,” she levels at her dad.
“Do you feel guilty working in the oil industry?”
Andrew says he does not, pointing out that if he were to leave the company someone else would take his job, given the global demand for hydrocarbons.
“What we need to be focused on is how we solve the problem,” says Andrew, adding he has questioned whether should go and work for a “green company”, in an industry such as wind or solar.
“However, to me that almost feels like walking away from the problem rather than staying to fix it,” he adds.
“What [oil companies] need is for people like you and your friends, who actually care about the environment... to come and work for these companies and ultimately, we get to a net zero,” Andrew tells his daughter, who admits to sometimes finding it difficult telling her mates what her dad does for a living.
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