OPEC’s first ministerial roundtable on energy, climate, and sustainable development was held today, Monday, 6 September 2021, via videoconference.
The meeting was held under the framework of the Charter of Cooperation (CoC) and provided an engaging platform for discussions on key issues related to the energy industry, including global efforts focused on addressing climate change in the context of sustainable development.
It was attended by ministers, senior officials, high-level decision and policymakers, and industry experts from some participating OPEC Member Countries (including Algeria, Angola, Congo, IR Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, UAE and Venezuela), and non-OPEC oil-producing countries participating in Charter of Cooperation (including Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Malaysia, Mexico and Kazakhstan), and participating Organizations (including APPO, AEC, AFREC, ARDA, GECF, IEF, OAPEC and the OPEC Fund).
The meeting facilitated the exchange of knowledge and expertise on emerging challenges and opportunities arising from the implementation of climate mitigation and adaptation actions.
The meeting recognized that energy plays a key role in contributing significantly to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG7, at a time when billions of people in developing countries are deprived of access to reliable and affordable modern energy.
The meeting acknowledged that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time and both developed and developing countries, and the livelihoods of populations feel its impact.
The meeting highlighted the need to use all sources of energy, all available technologies, such as carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), as well as the promotion of the Circular Carbon Economy (CCE) platform, for the attainment of SDG7 and emission reductions.
The meeting stressed the need for a balanced, inclusive and multilateral approach to enhance global efforts to achieve objectives related to climate change and sustainable development, and the need to embrace the principles of equity and ‘common-but-differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.
The meeting emphasised the need to provide adequate, predictable and fair support to developing countries to enhance their adaptation and mitigation actions.
The meeting underscored the importance of international cooperation, dialogue and multilateralism to address the global challenge of climate change in the pursuit of sustainable development objectives and efforts to eradicate energy poverty, in light of national circumstances and capabilities.
The meeting highlighted that the oil industry possesses the expertise and technologies to support sustainable energy systems and should be an integral part of innovative and sustainable solutions to climate change.
The participants additionally discussed various topics, including the ‘Saudi Green Initiative’ and the ‘Middle East Green Initiative’ introduced by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well as the latest developments and critical issues related to COP26 planned for 31 October to 12 November in Glasgow, UK and the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy scheduled to take place on 24 September 2021.