Top decision makers and internationally renowned experts came together to share their unique insights and perspectives on ‘energy scenarios’ in 2023 and beyond at the latest Al-Attiyah Foundation CEO Roundtable.
The high-profile event titled ‘Anticipated Energy Scenarios in a Net-zero World’ was held recently in Doha and moderated by broadcaster Axel Threlfall. The discussion featured guest speakers Alan Gelder, VP Refining, Chemicals and Oil Markets at Wood Mackenzie; Dr Li-Chen Sim, assistant professor, Khalifa University Abu Dhabi; Geoff Sinclair, managing director and majority shareholder of Camco; and Dr James Henderson, director, Natural Gas Programme, at Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.
Among other issues, the guests debated the recent climate change action in the EU and the US will have on the energy mix and the global pursuit to limit the rise in temperatures by 1.5C by mid-century.
In March 2022, the EU said it would end its reliance on Russian supplies of oil and gas, well before 2030. To do this, it drafted the REPowerEU, an ambitious €210bn plan to “speed-charge” the Green Deal, as European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said at the launch of the blueprint.
Under the plan, renewable energy should make up 45% of the EU’s energy needs by 2030, up from around 22% in 2020. To achieve that target, the approval process for wind and solar farms will be accelerated, ending bureaucratic delays that can sometimes stall projects.
In the US, Congress took its largest single step to address climate change when it approved the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in August 2022. The IRA includes tax credits, incentives, and other provisions intended to help companies tackle climate change, increase investments in renewable energy and enhance energy efficiency. Signed into law by President Joe Biden, the legislation also addresses healthcare and corporate taxes, but the climate-focused elements are especially significant.
The IRA includes nearly $370bn in investments in disadvantaged communities, prioritizing projects that repurpose retired fossil fuel infrastructure and employ displaced workers, setting the US on a course toward a fair, equitable, and economic clean energy transition.
Citing recent studies, guests at the roundtable spoke of the substantial emissions reduction impact of these provisions. Under a business-as-usual scenario (without the IRA), the US would be expected to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by between 24% and 35% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.
With the passage of the IRA, GHG reductions should reach 31% to 44% by 2030. When combined with renewed ambition from executive agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Agriculture, as well as states and cities, modelling from the Rhodium Group suggests that the US can meet its NDC commitment – “an economy-wide target of reducing its net greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.”
HE Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Al-Attiyah Foundation and former Minister of Industry and Energy of Qatar said the CEO Roundtable topic was timely and highly important for energy companies.
He said, “It was wonderful to see so many distinguished individuals at the first Al-Attiyah Foundation Roundtable of the year to discuss issues that will not just affect the oil and gas sector but the global community. The insights from our distinguished experts have given us a glimpse of the future of the energy industry as we continue to follow the path towards a Net Zero emissions world.
“This year will be vital for the energy transition. The 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) will take place in another major oil and gas-producing nation in the UAE and many of the world’s major economies have committed to taking urgent action in the fight against catastrophic climate change.”
HE Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Al-Attiyah Foundation and former Minister of Industry and Energy of Qatar, speaking during the first CEO Roundtable in 2023.