HE the Minister of State for Energy Affairs, Saad bin Sherida al-Kaabi, also the President and CEO of QatarEnergy, has warned that “geopolitical and economic volatility in a post-Covid era is holding any progress hoped to achieve in the battle against climate change, and are even forcing us to take many steps backwards.”
Speaking at the Asia Green Growth Partnership Ministerial Meeting, which was held virtually from Tokyo with the participation of Asian energy ministers, al-Kaabi highlighted the impact of geopolitical challenges, which have disrupted global energy supplies, impacted energy prices, and created concerns over energy security as well as accessibility.
“Inflationary pressures are impacting the oil and gas industry through rising production costs, delays in investment decisions, and increased policy uncertainty. Such developments caused a setback in the kind of serious energy transition the world needs in order to address the immediate challenges of climate change.
“This has caused a serious erosion in public support for reducing carbon emissions in many countries which had earlier campaigned for greener energy and a carbon-free future – thus negating years of environmental achievements.”
Al-Kaabi called for a serious and realistic energy transition and for greater investments in cleaner and renewable energies to drive capacity and baseload capability, saying: “We also have a responsibility to help people recognise that emotional demands to “cancel” hydrocarbons is not only unrealistic but, as recent months have proven, is harmful to a realistic, accelerated transition,”
Al-Kaabi noted: “Hydrocarbons are not going to disappear any time in the near future. Cleaner forms of hydrocarbons, with appropriate carbon abatement solutions, are an essential part of a reliable and a responsible transition. In this respect, natural gas is certainly the cleanest fossil fuel, and a much-needed reliable and economic solution to manage intermittency issues - when the sun is not shining, or when the wind is not blowing.”
Al-Kaabi concluded his remarks by voicing support to Japan’s “Asia Energy Transition Initiative”, and reiterated the importance of a responsible and a sustainable energy transition helping achieve sustainable economic growth and significant carbon emissions reductions with financial support for renewable energy, energy efficiency and LNG projects.
The Asia Green Growth Partnership Ministerial Meeting is held as part of Japan’s efforts to realise green growth, and to simultaneously achieve both economic growth and carbon neutrality in emerging economies such as those in Asia.