*In the context of climate change and sustainable development, our reference should not be to a ‘post oil era’, but rather to a world of collective green growth based on the appropriate energy mix for each country, says the former Deputy Prime Minister
HE Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah does not see “the end of the oil era for many decades to come”.
In a question-and-answer response on the occasion of the distribution of “The 6th Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah International Energy Awards” at the Museum of Islamic Art on Monday night, Qatar's former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Industry said, “I have often been asked to share my view on what I consider the best way forward for Middle Eastern countries in a ‘post-oil era’.
“My response has consistently been that I do not see the end of the oil era for many decades to come.”
“But I can understand why people ask me this question, considering the concern for climate change and the steady move towards more renewable energy sources.”
However, al-Attiyah noted “in the context of climate change and sustainable development, our reference should not be to a ‘post-oil era’, but rather to a world of collective green growth based on the appropriate energy mix for each country.”
As developing countries experience growth, particularly in transportation, power generation and industrialisation, energy requirements will largely continue to be powered by oil and gas, he said.
The very large energy consumers like the US, China, Japan among others, should have a diverse range of energies available to them as part of their sustainable development strategy.
“This should be enhanced by technological development and innovative approaches to address challenges such as security of supply, efficient water management, climate change and air pollution,” al-Attiyah said.
Energy, particularly hydrocarbons, has played a crucial role in industrialisation since the beginning of the last century, he stressed.
“In the Middle East, the energy sector is the backbone of economic development and I see this continuing. However, the energy industry needs to adapt rapidly to a changing business environment, while addressing climate change and continuing to innovate and diversify.”
On why he started the Al-Attiyah Foundation, the former Deputy Prime Minister said, “Throughout my career, I have strived to help the energy industry grow in a sustainable way and so it was fitting for me to set up the Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah Foundation for Energy and Sustainable Development to preserve and build upon my experience and that of the Board of Trustees who are distinguished past and present figures and influencers from Qatar’s oil and gas industry.
Established in 2015, the Al-Attiyah Foundation is a non-profit organisation that delivers independent insights, research and thought leadership on issues of critical importance to the energy industry and the sustainable development of the global economy.
“The foundation provides a rallying call for like-minded organisations to work together to develop policies and strategic thinking that will assist governments and industry to build a sustainable energy future. The foundation welcomes organisations that wish to partner on projects of mutual interest in the area of energy and sustainable development,” al-Attiyah said.
On instituting the awards, he said it is to “recognise the career achievements of distinguished individuals in their service to the global energy industry.”
The Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah International Energy Awards are given annually to individuals for their lifetime achievement in the advancement of the global energy industry in seven categories: Qatar energy industry; Opec; producer-consumer dialogue; education of future energy leaders; energy journalism; renewable energy and an honorary award for advancement of international energy policy and diplomacy.
The nominees are selected and scored by an international group of industry leaders who choose candidates for an outstanding record of accomplishment over their decade-spanning careers.