Sunday 10 December 2023

Dr Sultan Al Jaber

Hard-to-abate sectors must work together: COP28 chief

ABU DHABI, October 2, 2023

COP28 President-Designate, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, convened in Abu Dhabi a special meeting of industry leaders from the oil and gas, cement, steel, aluminium sectors, and heavy transportation to work together and drive global decarbonisation efforts.

“The energy transition is underway – but decarbonisation will be faster if we all work together,” Dr Al Jaber told participants at the COP28 Changemakers’ Majlis: Fast-Tracking the Energy Transition.

“Cross-sector collaboration will be indispensable,” he said.

The Changemakers Majlis, a part of the wider COP28 Presidential Action Agenda, was a pioneering gathering bringing together the biggest industries, energy producers, technology, finance and investment for the first time to collaborate on fast-tracking a just and orderly energy transition across both the supply and demand of energy.

The Majlis (an Arabic term that means sitting room, or a place where people come together to discuss shared interests) was also attended by HH Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, John Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, and was moderated by Dr Daniel Yergin, Vice Chairman, S&P Global, and took place the day before the start of the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition Conference (ADIPEC).

US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry addressed the attendees, calling for action to eliminate methane pollution from the energy sector by the end of this decisive decade and urging additional ambition that recognizes the urgency of the challenge and meets the moment.

Responding to the Global Stocktake, Dr Al Jaber said: “We know that we are not on track; we need to deliver a 43% emission reduction by 2030. I believe we can only keep 1.5 within reach if we are willing to collaborate.”

Dr Al Jaber highlighted that the production of oil and gas, cement, steel and aluminium account for around a quarter of all global carbon emissions. These sectors “can collaborate to accelerate decarbonisation by working on infrastructure, technology, policy and finance together,” he said.

“The world is watching and waiting for real, actionable progress across all sectors ─ and the energy and hard-to-abate industries have a critical role to play.”

The Majlis included dedicated breakout sessions to develop and drive actionable solutions to the energy transition, focused on the themes of: commercialising the hydrogen value chain; scaling carbon capture technologies; eliminating methane from energy; increasing renewables in grids; and biofuels as an enabler of decarbonisation.

Participants discussed how hydrogen holds the greatest promise for a fuel that will enable steel, cement and aluminium plants around the world to eliminate their greenhouse gas emissions but needs support to dramatically scale up.

On carbon capture and storage (CCS), they noted the growing consensus on the necessity of CCS to meet net zero targets and discussed necessary steps to create viable commercial models.

Discussing eliminating methane, there was an acknowledgement that 20% of anthropogenic methane emissions come from the oil and gas sector and determined action would form a significant contribution to global climate action.

To increase renewables in grids, participants spoke of how the ambitious growth targeted faced major challenges from finance, supply chain stresses, and the importance of grids, all of which would require concerted action.

On biofuels as an enabler of decarbonisation, they noted the importance of establishing biofuels as cost-competitive alternatives for air and road transit, particularly to hedge against disruptions in electrification.

Dr Al Jaber said: “Technology and finance are the key to getting us from where we are to where we need to be. And the people who can provide that technology are right here in this room.” – TradeArabia News Service




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