UAE Urges Oil and Gas Industry to Play a Vital Role in Climate Solutions
Posted 02/10/2023 11:48
The Emirati president-designate of the upcoming United Nations COP28 climate talks calls on the oil and gas sector to actively contribute to addressing climate change, despite the industry's increased production amid rising energy prices.
In a statement ahead of the United Nations COP28 climate talks in Dubai, Sultan al-Jaber, the Emirati president-designate, appealed to oil and gas companies to be at the forefront of climate solutions. He emphasized the industry's pivotal role in tackling climate change while acknowledging the need to drastically reduce global emissions to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Al-Jaber serves as the CEO of the state-run Abu Dhabi Oil Co., which has the capacity to produce up to 4 million barrels of crude oil daily, with aspirations to reach 5 million barrels per day. His call was made at the annual Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, a gathering of major players in the oil and gas sectors.
While this year's conference purportedly focuses on accelerating decarbonization efforts, its core agenda revolves around the exploration, processing, and sale of carbon-emitting fossil fuels, which contribute to climate change and extreme weather events such as storms, droughts, floods, and wildfires.
Al-Jaber acknowledged the necessity of reducing fossil fuel use but advocated for an orderly and responsible transition, stating, "A phase-down of fossil fuels is inevitable and essential, yet this must be part of a comprehensive energy transition plan that is fair, fast, just, orderly, equitable, and responsible."
On the business front, the oil industry is rebounding, with Brent crude trading at approximately $92 per barrel after briefly dipping into negative territory during the COVID-19 pandemic. Diesel prices are also on the rise due to Russia's suspension of diesel exports, contributing to global inflation and increased transportation costs for consumers.
Hosting COP28 has posed a challenge for the United Arab Emirates, given the skepticism of climate scientists and activists regarding its ability to host the conference. Al-Jaber has faced substantial criticism, but he defended his country's role as host, asserting that the oil and gas industry can be a central part of the solution to climate change.
He urged the industry to showcase its commitment to climate solutions, stating, "This is your opportunity to show the world that, in fact, you are central to the solution."