Natural gas, which is an abundant and flexible source of energy, will continue to satisfy the increasing world energy needs, ministers attending the 22nd Ministerial Meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) stressed on Thursday.
Natural gas will also meet the exigences of the three pillars of sustainable development, namely economic development, social progress and the protection of the environment.
The ministerial meeting was held last night, under the chairmanship of Abdelmadjid Attar, Algerian Minister of Energy as its president. The meeting was convened by videoconference.
It was attended by energy ministers and top authorities from Qatar, Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela, as well as Angola, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Malaysia, and Norway as Observers.
Heads of energy administrations of Indonesia, Mozambique, Senegal, Tunisia, and Turkmenistan along with the leadership of ERIA, IEF, and OPEC attended the opening session as guests.
The meeting assessed the current dynamics in the natural gas industry and acknowledged that the fundamentals that will drive natural gas’ projected growth to the top of the global energy mix remain unchanged.
According to the GECF, natural gas is the fastest growing fossil fuel in the world and will become the leading source in the global energy mix by mid-century, increasing its share from 23% today to 28% by 2050.
The ministerial meeting also emphasised that natural gas will continue to be a stepping stone to sustainable development and lower energy systems’ emissions.
It reaffirmed its determination to enhance the pace of co-operation to raise the efficiency of the GECF.
It also acknowledged the resilience displayed by the member countries in their attempt to ensure unrestricted functioning of free and flexible gas markets, as well as uninterrupted supplies to customers, in spite of numerous challenges and decline in revenues.
In his opening remarks, Attar provided an overview of the developments in the gas industry and outlined the strategic imperatives that will carry it forward, as well as the key role of the GECF as a unique platform for multilateral dialogue between gas exporting countries and gas consuming countries and the industry.
GECF secretary general Yury Sentyurin presented the management report of the secretariat, highlighting the various activities undertaken in 2020 and aimed at realising the vision as enshrined in the 2019 Malabo Declaration, the forum’s statute, its long-term strategy, the five-year working plan, and the 2019 and 2020 programmes of work.
An advanced 2020 edition of the forum’s publication- ‘Global Gas Outlook 2050’, was presented to the meeting, based on the GECF Global Gas Model.
Ministers welcomed the launch of the 2020 edition of the GECF annual statistical bulletin and appreciated the data-driven insights it provides.
Furthermore, the ministerial meeting hailed the new GECF annual short-term gas market report.
In the area of research, the ministers commended the achievements made in the establishment of the Gas Research Institute in Algeria.
The meeting approved the policy and procedures for the "GECF Awards".
The public launch of the GECF Awards will start in 2021 and culminate in a gala ceremony to be held on the sidelines of the 6th GECF Summit of Heads of State and Government.
In reviewing the status report on preparations of the 6th Summit, the ministers recorded their satisfaction with the progress made by Qatar as the host of this flagship biennial event, scheduled to be held in Doha on November 18, 2021.
Algeria will host the 7th GECF Summit in Algiers in 2023.
The Ministerial Meeting appointed Franklin Molina Ortiz, Minister of Hydrocarbons, Bolivia as president of the Ministerial Meeting for 2021, and Franklin Khan, Minister of Energy and Energy Industries of Trinidad and Tobago, as alternate president for the same period.
Furthermore, the Ministerial Meeting appointed Mohamed Hamel from Algeria as the executive board chairman and Angel Gonzalez Saltron from Venezuela as the Alternate chairman of the Executive Board for the same period.
Additionally, it was decided that the 23rd Ministerial Meeting of the GECF will convene in Doha on November 16, 2021.
The ministers and heads of delegation extended their appreciation to minister Abdelmadjid Attar for leading and guiding the functioning of the GECF under Algeria’s 2020 presidency.
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