Every year, Abu Dhabi hosts a large convention of oil, gas and energy companies that is attended by industry leaders, including energy ministers, decision makers and professionals from all over the world. Known as Adipec, the event, running from October 2-5, has a scale that is not easily rivalled. Business partnerships in the energy field are strengthened, ideas exchanged among leaders from various backgrounds and handshakes become a common sight as strategic collaborations are formed.
Just last year, Adipec yielded $8.2 billion in business for the 2,200 companies that were present at the conference. And one of the most significant deals to come out of it was an agreement between the UAE and the US to invest $100 billion in renewable energies and clean technologies in the UAE, US and emerging economies around the world by 2035.
The scope, agenda and networking potential for influential leaders, ministers, and chief executives of oil and gas companies at this annual platform are extensive, with an eye towards a sustainable future. This year, given the backdrop of Cop28, the focus is sharper and even more urgent. Decarbonisation is a central theme.
With less than two months to go before the UAE hosts the global climate summit, Adipec 2023 and the decisions taken over the next couple of days, become all the more consequential. This year is especially crucial also considering the focus on the needed energy transition, and the critical issues facing the energy sector, against the backdrop of an oil-price resurgence.
One of the most pragmatic issues on the table at the various panel discussions at Adipec will be the funding of the global energy transition, for which the participation of international stakeholders is not only needed but imperative. Simply put, transitioning away from fossil fuels towards renewables will take time and it will require money. Furthermore, developing technologies to decarbonise fossil fuel extraction necessitates investments. That money will need to be pledged, despite other pressing economic concerns for oil and gas companies.
As the International Energy Agency has said, the world has to increase clean energy spending from the $1.8 trillion expected in 2023 to $4.5 trillion per year by the start of the next decade to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, which is the ultimate climate goal.
More than 160,000 energy professionals will be in attendance and the issues that will be discussed at this event are likely to inform the climate talks in November. Just last week, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Cop28 President-designate and UAE special envoy on climate change, told the Climate Future Week conference in Dubai: "A phase-down of unabated fossil fuels is inevitable. In fact, it is essential." Dr Al Jaber, also the UAE’s Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, stressed the UAE’s investments in expanding clean hydrogen supply and spoke of the need for the world to increase its renewable energy capacity.
Over the next four days, dialogue will be at the crux of the conference. Clear decisions will have to be taken as representatives of 164 countries and thousands of private sector participants meet and exchange perspectives on solutions that can be adopted towards a cleaner future. An international resolve for the sake of a common future will be the need of the hour.