COP28: Dr Al Jaber calls on oil, gas industry to step up and drive climate solutions

COP28 President-Designate welcomes progress and action from over 20 oil and gas companies which have positively answered the call to take steps to curb emissions

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Ashwani Kumar

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Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber speaks at the opening of ADIPEC 2023. — Wam
Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber speaks at the opening of ADIPEC 2023. — Wam

Published: Mon 2 Oct 2023, 6:16 PM

Last updated: Mon 2 Oct 2023, 9:30 PM

The oil and gas industry “can and must help drive the solutions” to global energy challenges, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, COP28 President-Designate, said in Abu Dhabi while urging the industry to “step up” to decarbonise further and faster.

Under the patronage of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice-President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court, opened the 39th edition of ADIPEC Exhibition and Conference.

In his opening address, Dr Al Jaber, the UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, noted that ADIPEC – the world’s largest energy exhibition and conference, brings together the leaders who must shape a future where energy is accessible, secure, affordable, sustainable, and decarbonised.

Dr Al Jaber underlined that the industry is “essential” to solving the global challenges faced by humanity.

“No other industry has the same ability to manage the complexity, depth of knowledge, engineering talent, capital, technology and scale that is needed for the task at hand.”

Dr Al Jaber is optimistic and confident that the energy industry can step up and make a meaningful contribution to tangible sustainable progress. He highlighted that as per calculation by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the “world must reduce emissions by at least 43 per cent over the next 7 years in order for us to keep 1.5 (degree Celsius) within reach. That is our north star. It is our only destination. It is simply acknowledging and respecting the science. And we must do this while also ensuring human prosperity by meeting the energy needs of the planet’s growing population.”

Dr Al Jaber called for a “system-wide holistic transformation” of global economies, which currently run on the equivalent of 250 million barrels of oil, gas and coal every day.

“These are barrels that either need to be replaced or decarbonised to create a proper yet responsible pro-climate, pro-growth future. It’s a monumental task. But it is also a historic opportunity for growth and innovation. It represents the largest economic opportunity since the first industrial revolution.”

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Transition must be well managed

He called for a comprehensive energy transition plan that is fair, fast, just, orderly, equitable, and responsible. “Energy transition must be well managed and carefully considered.”

Dr Al Jaber pointed out three aspects to make the biggest impact in the shortest time: curbing emissions from the production of energy, playing a critical role in scaling up renewable energy and decarbonising hard-to-abate sectors, such as steel cement, aluminum and heavy transportation.

“I have called on all IOCs and NOCs (international and national oil companies) to step up and align around net zero by or before 2050, zero-out methane emissions, and eliminate routine flaring by 2030,” he said and pointed out that more than 20 oil and gas companies have “positively answered the call”.

Silence the sceptics

Dr Al Jaber called on the industry to rally around ambitious decarbonisation targets and keep 1.5C within reach.

“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.”

COP28, he underlined, must be the “turning point where we begin to get back on track and start sprint to 2030”. “Nobody has all the answers but working together we can lay a solid foundation for a climate positive, economically sustainable future.”

Dr Al Jaber underscored that the industry can and must help to drive the solutions and silence the sceptics.

“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. This industry can change the global debate and the global outcome. And it’s time to silence the sceptics by applying scale, capital, and technology to deliver real outcomes and tangible results.”

Dr Al Jaber added that “it’s time to turn rhetoric into results, ambitions into action, pilots into scalable projects. It is time to unite, act, and deliver.”


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