Amid the new International Energy Agency report on global carbon dioxide emissions reached a record high in 2022, with communities emitting more carbon dioxide last year than in any other year records dating to 1900, Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 UAE President-Designate, called on the oil and gas industry to join the fight in solving the climate challenge and create the energy system of the future.
During his keynote remarks at CERAWeek, an energy conference in Houston, Texas, Dr. Al Jaber pointed out the now-famous words spoken from Apollo 13 to emphasize the urgency of climate issues, “To echo the two most famous phrases of this city, first we need to recognize ‘Houston… we have a problem’ and then we need to agree that ‘failure is not an option’.”
Dr. Al Jaber, also the Chief Executive of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, called on his peers in the energy sector to address the “dual challenge of driving sustainable progress while holding back emissions.” He urged, “Let me call on you today to decarbonize quicker, future-proof sooner and create the energy system of the future today.”
He pointed out the need for unity amongst government entities, policymakers, industries, businesses, and individuals. In particular, he noted how the oil and gas sector needs to rapidly decarbonize its operations and help decarbonize its customers’ operations. “Only half of the industry has declared a scope 1 and 2 net-zero goal by 2050,” he said. “Everyone in the industry must be aligned around the same goal.”
Dr. Al Jaber also emphasized the financing gap in the energy sector – while $1.4 trillion was invested in the sector, according to the International Energy Agency, investments must be three times over that amount.
“Only 15% of cleantech investment reaches developing economies in the Global South, where 80% of the population live. 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.”
Along with strategic partnerships and collaboration, the significance of utilizing hydrogen as a clean fuel source is also a key priority for the UAE, noted Dr. Al Jaber. As such, the minister concluded his address by inviting parties across various entities to share ideas. “We in the UAE are ready to partner with all who want to join to make it happen.”
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