Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) Secretary General Dr Yury Sentyurin expressed confidence that the paper recycling initiative in Qatar, which it fully supports, will further expand and widen regionally and globally.

GECF and three embassies in Doha – Sweden, Ecuador, and Tanzania – had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Wednesday with Qatari company Elite Paper Recycling (EPR) led by chairman Abdallah al-Suwaidi to promote environmental sustainability and protection.

“We can see that the practices suggested by EPR, these actions and initiatives are the ones which can be used successfully by our member countries,” Dr Sentyurin said.

“We hope that the ‘circular economy’ principles and approaches could be widespread and be used by our counterparts from other countries.”

He said that he finds GECF’s strategic tools and EPR’s efforts serving the shared goal — to raise public awareness on the importance of recycling and care to the environment.

Such green initiative, Dr Sentyurin noted, focuses on protecting the “ever-so-fragile environment and laying a solid ground towards self-sufficiency and self-sustainability.”

Citing that the growing threat of climate change requires strategic intervention on both fronts – adaptation and mitigation, he said the ultimate solution lies with governments, society and individuals.“It requires changes in technologies and practices to enable a transition to sustainability.”

“We learned that 60% to 80% of the population in developing countries, mostly in Africa and Asia, use biomass, namely forests, for household purposes and space heating,” Dr Sentyurin explained.

“Here we see the room for improvement. Our core goal is to contribute to the environment protection and forests preservation through expanding the utilisation of natural gas, but not the trees, to produce energy globally,” he said.

The GECF’s 19 member countries are prominent natural gas producers and exporters, jointly accounting for 70% of world proven gas reserves, 45% of global gas production, 64% of gas pipeline and 54% LNG trade, according to Dr Sentyurin.

In 2019, the Forum was invited to present its expertise at the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth, and to become a member of the Energy Transition Working Group under G20.

“By this way, the GECF is set to advance the importance of natural gas and promote its great potential for the coming decades, speaking at the gathering of the major economies of the world,” Dr Sentyurin said.

“Due to its huge yet undeveloped potential as regards the both fronts mentioned above, the role of natural gas in the global energy mix is crucial in building climate resilient economies in line with the Paris Agreement,” he pointed out.

“Even when it comes to the arguments in the favour of renewables, natural gas is essential as a baseload 'bridge fuel'. On the basis of our projections, estimates, values, and beliefs, I have just had a chance to share with you briefly, the GECF launches its Environmental Actions Framework. We have set ambitious goals ahead of us,” Dr Sentyurin said.

He added that GECF member countries are staunchly committed to the environmental obligation to deliver sustainable, secure and safe energy.