The energy supply crunch in Europe, Asia and the US this past year has underscored the need for smarter carbon-transition policy, Majid Jafar, the CEO of Crescent Petroleum, told industry and policy leaders gathered for a virtual panel at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

To make lasting progress, carbon transition policy must be tailored to each country’s needs and dynamics while addressing the limitations of renewable energy like intermittency and lack of storage.

“Any successful and sustainable policy must address the need for affordable and reliable energy in the developing world, where a billion people still don’t have electricity and 3 billion have no clean cooking solutions,” Jafar told attendees to the launch of the Atlantic Council Global Energy Agenda.

“What has become clear in recent months is that insufficient investment in oil and gas is leading to higher energy costs and more burning of coal worldwide, which both harms the economy and efforts to tackle climate change,” he added.

Jafar highlighted that the price rises and energy shortages last year were the result of three simultaneous trends: low investment in oil and gas production and infrastructure, a rise in demand as economies recover from the pandemic, and the shutdown of some nuclear power sources. He stressed that while renewables are part of the solution to reducing carbon emissions, the continuing importance of oil and gas in ensuring stable energy supply and in enabling the transition cannot be ignored.

Years of effort have gone in at Crescent Petroleum to improve total process efficiencies and help it become one of the least carbon-intensive companies in the energy sector.