Having attended most of the COP meetings from COP1 to COP21 the comparisons are striking. Kyoto was a landmark as it set quantitative targets for countries, but not everybody signed up. This time around all countries have signed but in a qualitative manner. The aim is for 2 degrees and if possible 1.5 degrees and this is great news.
We will only know if this voluntary system works when every country reports their emissions again over the next 5 years.
The World Petroleum Council welcomes a clear agreement on climate change and we were in Paris for COP21 to put forward our point of view. We support and encourage governments and all stakeholders in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and manage the risks of climate change. They also have a challenge ahead to meet their growing population’s energy demands and support economic development in their countries.
Our global membership will have a role to play in the transition to a low-carbon future. With oil as the main fuel for transport around the world, it will remain a key part of the energy mix while alternative technologies continue to be developed further. We also must not forget all of the oil and gas based items, around us every day, such as pharmaceuticals, clothing, polymers, fertilisers, the list is endless. In cooperation with the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), WPC is working to showcase how the oil and gas industry is helping to bring people out of energy poverty in order to achieve the Sustainable Energy for All goal of the United Nations.
We were also in Paris to lend our support to the World Bank and their initiative to reduce routine methane flaring by 2030. The well attended COP side meeting highlighted the high number of WPC member countries that have already signed up to the initiative and fits in well with our energy poverty alleviation work. The oil and gas sector has the technical knowhow to develop solutions which will have an important part to play in contributing to a sustainable energy future and we will help all stakeholders meet the challenges ahead. For hundreds of years, energy has meant growth which has led to economic and social wellbeing. Our challenge for the future is to achieve this in a clean and sustainable manner.