OPEC head: Climate change real, technology a solution

OPEC is well aware of the climate change effects, and technology will be one of the keys to tackling climate change, Mohammad Barkindo, Secretary General of OPEC told Offshore Energy Today at the sidelines of an event in the Netherlands.

Barkindo was one of the speakers at the 25th Lustrum Symposium on Tuesday at Delft, where the main theme was “Energy transition, the world with a growing natural resource demand.”

While Barkindo highlighted the importance of future investment in oil and gas for meeting the rising demand (Read more here), he also paid attention to the issue of environment and sustainability.

He said OPEC was fully aware of that there are environmental issues regarding the emissions that emanate from fossil fuels.

On that note, our reporter asked the OPEC secretary general what OPEC is doing to actively promote the reduction of the carbon footprint. Barkindo said that OPEC as an organization, including all of its member countries, subscribed to the issues of climate change, and “its impact on all countries, particularly developing countries.”

He said all the OPEC countries are developing countries, impacted by effects of climate change. “Therefore, from the inception, we joined the multilateral process under the UNFCCC in order to work out a global all-inclusive solution that will not affect the right of all people’s to access energy for sustainable development.”

For technology to be fully leveraged globally, in the scale that the world would require, we would need all governments to come together and give direction through policy decision that industry can take a cue from


Secretary General Barkindo also highlighted that the organization had demonstrated its commitment to the cause by the fact that all its member countries signed up to the 2015 Paris Agreement, and that a majority of the members have ratified it.

“Within OPEC we have been collaborating with a number of institutions and agencies in researching the process as well as the impact and the possible solutions to climate change,” Barkindo said.

Technology could eliminate emissions In his keynote address , Barkindo said OPEC was of the belief that viable solutions could be developed by leveraging cutting-edge technology that has the potential to minimize and even, eventually, eliminate these emissions.

Explaining further to Offshore Energy Today, Barkindo pointed to the need for governmental support: “Technology is one key to addressing the impacts of climate change. Now, for technology to be fully leveraged globally, in the scale that the world would require, we would need all governments to come together and give direction through policy decision that industry can take a cue from.”

During the Lustrum event, Barkindo said the industry must support the development of cleaner fossil fuel technologies, such as carbon capture utilization and storage, and other innovative solutions in the future. “Our Member Countries have already been active in utilizing these technologies, and I expect this will increasingly be the case in the years to come.

At OPEC, we will continue to prioritize the advancement of the environmental credentials of oil, both in production and usage,” he said.

Party-driven process

Worth noting, Barkindo was in Bonn, Germany last week, attending the UN Climate Change Conference where he said OPEC remained fully engaged and supportive of the Paris Agreement. “We believe a global consensus out of the multilateral process remains the best and most inclusive way for all nations to collectively tackle climate change in a fair and equitable manner.

In terms of the implementation of the Paris Agreement, we need to ensure a Party-driven process; recall different national circumstances; evoke the principles of equity and of common but differentiated responsibilities; balance mitigation, adaptation and the means of implementation, including financing for developing countries to support their actions; and take into account the overriding priority of sustainable development.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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