Dr Sultan Al Jaber says oil and gas industry key to solving climate change

UAE Cop28 President-designate urges energy industry to rapidly decarbonise operations

Dr Sultan Al Jaber: 'Let's aim to reach net-zero methane emissions by 2030'

Dr Sultan Al Jaber: 'Let's aim to reach net-zero methane emissions by 2030'
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Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Cop28 President-designate, said on Monday that the oil and gas industry will play an important role in solving climate change.

At the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston, Dr Al Jaber said energy leaders have the “knowledge, experience, expertise and the resources” needed to address the dual challenges of driving sustainable progress while holding back emissions.

“We already know we are way off track and what we need is a major course correction,” he said.

“We must accept the fact that this is a global challenge that calls for global solutions from every stakeholder, acting in unity and solidarity.”

Dr Al Jaber, who is also the UAE's Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and special envoy on climate change, said that the oil and gas sector needs to rapidly decarbonise its operations.

“Only half of the industry has declared a scope 1 and 2 net-zero goal by 2050,” he said.

“Everyone in the industry needs to be aligned around the same goal. And we should stretch ourselves to go further and let's aim to achieve net-zero even earlier.

“Let’s also scale up best practices and aim to reach net-zero methane emissions by 2030. We must electrify operations, equip facilities with carbon capture and storage, and use all available technologies to increase efficiency across the board.”

Global carbon dioxide emissions rose by less than 1 per cent last year as the growth of renewable energy and electric vehicles helped offset a surge in crude oil and coal consumption, the International Energy Agency said in a report last week.

Carbon dioxide emissions grew by 0.9 per cent in 2022 to reach a new high of more than 36.8 billion tonnes, the agency said.

Emissions from crude oil rose by 2.5 per cent but remained below pre-pandemic levels.

“Making a dent in the climate crisis is not just about decarbonising oil and gas operations. With the right incentives, the right technologies, the right mindset and the right partnership model, the oil and gas industry has the capacity and the resources to help everyone address scope 3,” said Dr Al Jaber.

“Keep in mind that power generation is the sector where the biggest impact can be made in the shortest amount of time.”

Investment in renewable energy needs to double to more than $4 trillion by the end of the decade to meet net-zero emissions targets by 2050, the International Energy Agency said in its World Energy Outlook last year.

The agency's stated policies scenario (Steps), based on the latest policy settings worldwide, expects clean energy investment to rise to slightly more than $2 trillion by 2030.

Dr Sultan Al Jaber calls for Cop28 unity at World Government Summit

Sultan al-Jaber, the CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. , talks during the World Government Summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, Feb 14, 2023.  The United Arab Emirates' pick to lead the upcoming COP28 climate talks in Dubai called on the world Tuesday to "fight climate change, not each other," directly addressing the anger activists have felt over his selection.  (AP Photo / Kamran Jebreili)

“This is the decade to diversify portfolios … to future-proof companies and provide the clean energy the world needs,” said Dr Al Jaber.

“That said, we know that for high-emitting sectors, renewable energy is just not going to be enough. Aluminium, steel, cement and many other heavy industries make up 30 per cent of global emissions.”

The Adnoc chief executive also urged the global financial community to help fund efforts aimed at tackling climate change.

“The entire financial community needs to play a much bigger role,” said Dr Al Jaber.

“Capital must come from all sources: governments, the private sector, institutional investors, private equity, industry and international financial institutions.”

And when it comes to financing the energy transition, “we must ensure that no one is left behind”, he added.

“Only 15 per cent of clean tech investment reaches developing economies in the Global South, and that is where 80 per cent of the population live,” he continued.

“That’s why we need to fundamentally reform the IFIs [international financial institutions] and MDBs [multilateral development banks] to unlock concessional finance, lower risk and attract greater private investment.”

Dr Al Jaber, who is the chairman of Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy company Masdar, also stressed the importance of using hydrogen as a clean fuel source.

“Let's develop and commercialise and expand hydrogen production by 2030. And as a nascent technology, entrepreneurship, innovation and collaboration will be key to building out the entire hydrogen value chain,” he said.

“We in the UAE are very ready to partner with all those who want to join us to translate this vision into reality.

“Let's stay focused on our objectives of rolling back emissions, not progress.”

Updated: March 13, 2023, 11:43 AM