COP28 President-Designate Rallies Oil and Gas Industry to Decarbonize

Source: 10/2/2023, Location: Middle East

COP28 President-Designate Dr. Sultan Al Jaber called on the oil and gas industry to rally around ambitious decarbonization targets as part of the COP28 Presidency's Action Agenda to fast-track the energy transition and keep 1.5C within reach.

Dr. Al Jaber reiterated calls on industry to "step up, align around net zero by or before 2050, zero-out methane emissions, and eliminate routine flaring by 2030." He welcomed recent progress and action from over 20 oil and gas companies, including both international and national oil companies (IOCs and NOCs), which have "positively answered the call" to take the challenging but achievable steps to curb emissions from the production of energy.

Describing the progress, Dr. Al Jaber said, "This took time, effort and many months of hard work, negotiation and collaboration. We are counting on many more to come onboard and start taking action to decarbonize further and faster. I urge everyone to make this commitment at COP28, a COP where I am calling on everyone to set the highest ambitions, follow through with practical actions and deliver real results."

Dr. Al Jaber issued his call to action at the beginning of the 2023 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (ADIPEC), the largest and most inclusive energy industry gathering. The event was attended by HH Shiekh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President of the United Arab Emirates, along with 160,000 energy professionals, 2,200 exhibiting companies, 54 NOCs, IOCs, and IECs.

Setting off the event which runs from 2-5 October, Dr. Al Jaber said that "This industry can and must help to drive the solutions. For too long, this industry has been viewed as part of the problem, that it is not doing enough and, in some cases, even blocking progress. This is your opportunity to show the world that, in fact, you are central to the solution."

Noting the scale of the climate challenge, Dr. Al Jaber stated that "the world must reduce emissions by at least 43% over the next 7 years to keep 1.5 within reach. And that is our north star. It is our destination. It is simply respecting the science. And we must do this while also ensuring human prosperity by meeting the energy needs of the planet's growing population."

Describing the necessary actions, Dr. Al Jaber highlighted three key areas that he was prioritizing, including: curbing emissions from the production of energy, scaling up renewables, and decarbonizing hard-to-abate sectors, such as steel cement, aluminum and heavy transportation.'

Discussing the immediate steps that he expects the oil and gas industry to take, Dr. Al Jaber noted that "Eliminating methane leaks and flaring is the fastest way to make the biggest impact on operational emissions in the short term."

Dr. Al Jaber also noted the critical role that the oil and gas industry has in scaling up renewables, highlighting how they represent "an opportunity for this industry to diversify and future proof its business models." Acknowledging that intermittency meant renewables were not a viable solution for heavy emitting industries, Dr. Al Jaber emphasized the need to find low-carbon solutions to decarbonize hard-to-abate sectors, such as steel, cement, aluminum, and heavy transportation.

"We know that solutions exist, and all industries can and must respond. But they can't act alone. Governments should be proactive in setting the right demand signals and dealing with critical issues like permitting." He also stated the need to "overcome the hurdles to scale up and commercialize hydrogen and carbon capture technologies."

Speaking of his intention to underpin everything at COP28 with full inclusivity, Dr. Al Jaber said that "everyone must be around the table to make the transformational progress needed, and especially the energy industry. No other industry has the same ability to manage complexity, depth of knowledge, engineering talent, technology, capital, and scale that is needed for the task at hand."

Dr. Al Jaber also outlined his vision to "reimagine the relationship between producers and the heaviest consuming countries and sectors. Since March, I have been convening heavy emitting sectors alongside the energy industry, governments, civil society, NGOs, scientists, technologists and the financial community to accelerate decarbonization."

Speaking of the need to "create a pro-climate, pro-growth future", Dr. Al Jaber noted that "it is a historic opportunity for growth and innovation. In fact, it represents the largest economic opportunity since the first industrial revolution."

Concluding his remarks, Dr. Al Jaber said that "it's time to turn rhetoric into results, ambitions into action, pilots into scalable projects. It is time to Unite, it is time to Act, and it is time to Deliver."

Dr. Al Jaber's speech came a day after hosting a "Changemakers Majlis", a pioneering CEO-level gathering with representatives from the energy, cement, heavy transportation, steel and aluminum sectors to develop and drive actionable solutions to the energy transition. Collaboration focused on commercializing the hydrogen value chain, scaling carbon capture technologies, eliminating methane from energy, increasing renewables in grids, and biofuels as an enabler of decarbonization.

The COP28 President-Designate's call to implement a comprehensive energy transition plan is part of the COP28 Presidency's Action Agenda which is based on four key pillars. These pillars include fast-tracking a just and orderly energy transition, fixing climate finance, focusing on people, lives and livelihoods, and underpinning everything with full inclusivity.

Notes to Editors COP28 UAE:

- COP28 UAE will take place at Expo City Dubai from November 30-December 12, 2023. The Conference is expected to convene over 70,000 participants, including heads of state, government officials, international industry leaders, private sector representatives, academics, experts, youth, and non-state actors.

- As mandated by the Paris Climate Agreement, COP28 UAE will deliver the first ever Global Stocktake – a comprehensive evaluation of progress against climate goals.

- The UAE will lead a process for all parties to agree upon a clear roadmap to accelerate progress through a pragmatic global energy transition and a "leave no one behind" approach to inclusive climate action."

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