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The oil and gas industry needs to “step up its game” to cut emissions and accelerate the shift toward cleaner energy solutions, the UAE’s president-designate for the COP28 climate summit said on Thursday.
“The phase down of fossil fuels is inevitable. It is in fact essential. But it cannot be irresponsible,” Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the COP 28 president-designate and Group CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), said at the ongoing OPEC International Seminar in Vienna, as carried by Reuters.
The pick of Al Jaber to head the COP28 climate summit in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) later this year was seen as a controversial choice, considering that he is chief executive at ADNOC, the company pumping nearly all the oil in the UAE, an OPEC member and major crude oil exporter.
Oil and gas companies have to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and the industry should accelerate the commitment to reach net-zero methane emissions by 2030, Al Jaber told the OPEC seminar, which includes OPEC officials and ministers, as well as the chief executives of Saudi Aramco, TotalEnergies, Eni, Oxy, Halliburton, Vitol, Hess Corporation, Petrobras, and OMV, among others.
The COP28 summit will be inclusive and will include representatives of the oil and gas industry, unlike the COP26 summit in Glasgow in 2021, which mostly shunned energy industry representatives.
The key challenge is to cut emissions while keeping robust sustainable development, Al Jaber said, adding “That is why I am so focused on COP28 being truly inclusive.”
Last week, research by the non-profit platform CDP showed that the oil and gas industry has made “almost no progress” since 2021 to align itself to the Paris Agreement goals.
The review showed “a dangerous lack of progress towards global climate goals from the sector. There has been little advance – and alarmingly even some decline – in oil and gas companies’ progress on limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees,” CDP said.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.