UAE’s Minister of Energy, Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, addressing the COP28 conference in Dubai on Tuesday Image Credit: X/COP28_UAE

Dubai: The UAE’s Minister of Energy, Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, has urged more national energy companies to join the Oil and Gas Decarbonisation Charter (OGDC) - a global industry charter to speed up climate action across the oil and gas sectors.

Launched by the COP28 Presidency and Saudi Arabia, 50 oil and gas companies, representing more than 40 per cent of global oil production, had already signed the charter on the fourth day of the UAE COP28 climate conference.

Speaking on Tuesday, the day dedicated to energy, industry, and transition at the climate conference, the Energy Minister said: “50 companies are not enough. We need every single operator or producer to be involved and see higher commitments.”

While he praised the Presidency’s efforts to get oil and gas companies to shore up leaky methane systems by 2030 - a move that could rapidly reduce emissions of the potent gas and forestall some climate change effects – he also urged increased investments from the companies who have joined the initiative.

“It takes major investments from those who joined the initiative. We need more and will work together to deliver more,” said Al Mazrouei.

Meanwhile, climate negotiators at the conference are considering calling for a formal phase-out of fossil fuels as part of the UN summit’s final deal to tackle global warming, a draft negotiating text published by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change shows.

A second draft of what could be the final agreement from the climate conference shows negotiators are considering calling for an ‘orderly and just’ phase-out of fossil fuels.

The negotiations are part of the ‘global stocktake’ process, in which nearly 200 nations are trying to agree on plans to curb rising global temperatures.
However, most oil and gas companies do not favour a complete phase-out of oil and are focused on reducing their methane footprint.

Al Mazrouei said,: “Let’s not be focused on fighting one energy source. The common enemy is emissions, and we need to reduce emissions, but at the same time, some of you must ensure that energy is available.
“There is a huge demand from many who live in absolute energy poverty. They demand to have a better life. But we don’t want the next generation to act like what we did. We want the next generation to be mindful and consume less,” said the Minister.

Commenting on cutting the industry’s methane emissions, Vicki Hollub, the CEO of Occidental Petroleum, said, “We [the global energy industry] are producing over 100 million barrels a day in the world today. It’s not going to happen overnight that we can eliminate our methane emissions. It’s going to take a lot of effort.”