Top executives from major oil and gas companies engaged in discussions with leaders from heavy industries in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, seeking to establish a firm commitment to curbing carbon emissions in advance of the upcoming United Nations climate summit.
The COP28 summit is scheduled to be held in Dubai from November 30 to December 12. This summit is regarded as a pivotal opportunity for governments to accelerate efforts to mitigate global warming. Current reports indicate that countries are falling behind in their pledges to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Adnan Amin, CEO of COP28, described the meetings as an unprecedented effort within the COP process, bringing together both the supply and demand sides of emissions. He emphasized the goal of securing commitments to decarbonization from major industry players, with the intention of finalizing this agreement before COP28 and aligning on its presentation at the summit.
This gathering assembled CEOs representing over 50 companies from the oil and gas sector (the supply side) and industries such as aluminum, steel, and cement (the energy demand side). Convened by COP28 president Sultan al-Jaber, the meeting also included the participation of US Climate Envoy John Kerry. Discussions revolved around critical topics, including the commercialization of hydrogen, the expansion of carbon capture technologies, methane reduction, and the promotion of renewable energy, as stated by COP28.
President Jaber of the United Arab Emirates has underscored the necessity of involving the oil and gas industry in the climate change conversation. He has called for the energy sector to achieve net-zero emissions by or before 2050 and accelerate industry-wide efforts to achieve near-zero methane emissions by 2030.
This inclusion of representatives from the oil and gas sector marks a notable departure from the 2021 UN climate change summit in Scotland, where energy companies had expressed concerns about being excluded from the event.
As COP28 approaches, countries remain divided between those advocating for a phased reduction of fossil fuels, which contribute to global warming, and nations insisting on maintaining a role for coal, oil, and natural gas.
Amin noted, “If the oil and gas industry commits to decarbonization and methane reduction agreements, it would make a substantial contribution to the discussion. It will be the first COP where we can quantify the carbon emissions that are being addressed.”
Jaber, who also serves as the head of the UAE’s state oil giant ADNOC, was a controversial choice to lead the climate summit due to his country’s membership in OPEC and significant oil exportation activities.