Pre-COP26: OPEC+ harps on implications of energy poverty on developing economy, amidst push for net-zero goals

Oredola Adeola

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries(OPEC) and allies led by Russia, or OPEC+, as the alliance is known, have challenged the international community to consider the implication and effect of energy poverty while advancing the import of addressing net-zero emission goal.

OPEC and its allies highlighted the importance of tackling energy poverty and climate change policies concurrently and collaboratively, in order to avoid unintended consequences.

OPEC today hosted the 20th Coordination Meeting on Climate Change, in the run-up to #COP26 taking place in #Glasgow later in the month.

The Meeting provides a dynamic platform for OPEC & non-OPEC DoC partners to discuss key issues related to the latest developments affecting climate change talks.

Mohammad Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General, in his statement while addressing participants emphasized that climate change policies must be inclusive, comprehensive and equitable within the context of sustainable development for the benefit of everyone.

The OPEC SG, also underscored the nexus of climate change and rising energy poverty in different parts of the world and said, “We must never forget that climate change and energy poverty are two sides of the same coin, and we cannot solve one and ignore the other.”

He stated; “The oil industry is uniquely placed to play a major technological role in advancing a carbon-free world.

He noted the various technological innovations as well energy efficiency measures the industry is utilizing such as  Carbon capture, utilisation and storage, CCUS.

Barkindo noted that the events of recent weeks, particularly related to energy affordability, energy security and reducing emissions, have highlighted the importance of tackling these issues concurrently and collaboratively, so as to avoid unintended consequences.

OPEC had earlier revealed that underinvestment and maintenance problems in the oil and gas industry have stymied efforts by Nigeria and Angola to raise output, claiming that this issue is expected to continue to impact the two West African oil producers in the near future thereby amounting to energy poverty and its attendant consequence.