OPEC calls for balance in global energy goals

Solomon Ezeme


Amidst the current moves by world leaders against global carbon emissions, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has advised world governments to ensure they create a balance in executing all of their energy goals, including the reduction of energy poverty which is predominant in some regions of the world.

The agency warned that, if too much attention is given to one than the other, there is the likelihood of market alterations, shortfalls and uncontrolled volatility in the energy sector.

It also stated that nations like Nigeria and other developing nations need financial supports from the international community, to help them achieve their climate change goals.

Speaking at the just concluded UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) on Wednesday, OPEC Secretary General, HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, described the present direction of the world towards transiting to the use of renewables as ‘misleading’.

He stated that no particular global energy goal (carbon emissions, security or energy poverty) should be given more attention than the other.

Barkindo said there is need for deliberate policies to create a balance in addressing all energy challenges.

“OPEC advocates putting multilateralism at the centre of energy, climate and sustainable development.

“We remain committed to the UNFCCC process, particularly the core elements of equity, common-but-differentiated responsibilities and national circumstances.

“The oil and gas industry can foster its resources and expertise to help unlock a low-emissions future, through its role as a powerful innovator in developing more efficient technological solutions.

“OPEC subscribes to a sustainable path forward; one that works for us all. We need to ensure energy is available and affordable for all.

“We need to move towards a more inclusive, fair and equitable world in which every person has access to energy, aligned with SDG 7; and we need to reduce emissions,” he said.

He explained that transiting to clean energy alone is not the best way forward as there is still a huge deficit in energy access, in many countries.

He said, “It is an energy sustainability trilemma, with each piece having to move in unison. The science tells us that tackling emissions has many paths.

“There is no one-size-fits-all solution, for countries or industries. The narrative that the energy transition is from oil and other fossil fuels to renewables is misleading and potentially dangerous to a world that will continue to be thirsty for all energy sources.

“The capacities, national circumstances, and development priorities of developing countries must be taken into account.

“The adverse socio-economic impacts on developing countries due to mitigation activities should be considered, to identify remediation measures and share best practices.”

The OPEC Bossalso called for international support for developing nations like Nigeria in the area of financing, to attain set climate change objectives.

He said, “Financing is critical to reach climate targets set in developing countries’ NDCs. Developing countries have underscored the need for enhanced support, including financial resources, technological development and transfer, and capacity building, as well as a new collective goal for climate finance, to aid adaptation and back increased ambitions for climate mitigation action.”