OPEC Statement to the UN Climate Change Conference

Delivered by Dr Ayed Al-Qahtani, Director of OPEC’s Research Division, on behalf of HE Haitham Al Ghais, OPEC Secretary General, at the UN Climate Change Conference, 9 December 2023, Dubai, the UAE.

Mister President, distinguished delegates,

It is a great honour to deliver these remarks in an OPEC Member Country, the UAE.

Holding COP28 here underscores the UAE’s role as a climate leader, and its capabilities in the realm of providing energy.

The interwoven nature of reducing emissions and energy security is now ‘rightfully’ at the forefront of global discussions about energy transition pathways.  For this:

We need an all-energies approach.

Otherwise, the world cannot meet rising energy demand, maintain energy security and ensure affordable universal energy access.

The Paris Agreement also focuses on reducing emissions, rather than choosing certain energy sources.

We need an all-peoples approach.

The capacities, national circumstances, and development priorities of all countries must be taken into account to ensure that no one is left behind.

And, we need an all-technologies approach.

The world needs to develop and finance all forms of technologies to help reduce emissions while meeting demand.

Technological innovation is a key focus for OPEC. It is why our Member Countries are investing heavily in hydrogen projects, CCUS, CCS and DAC facilities, the circular carbon economy, and renewables.

I hope that you have visited the OPEC Pavilion here at COP28 to see this firsthand.

The oil industry is also taking a proactive approach here at COP28, with 50 oil companies representing nearly half of global production, including many from OPEC Member Countries, pledging to reach near-zero methane emissions and end routine flaring in their operations by 2030.

Ultimately, this ‘all-energies, all-peoples and all-technologies’ approach needs to adhere to the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities.

This means ensuring:

That the first global stocktake under the Paris Agreement concludes with equitable and inclusive outcomes;

That developed countries fulfil their long overdue climate finance commitments;

And that funding arrangements for loss and damage enable adequate and accessible financing that does not increase liabilities.

There is no single solution or path to achieve a sustainable energy future.

We need nuanced and realistic approaches to tackle emissions; ones that also enable economic growth, help eradicate energy poverty, and increase resilience at the same time.

In this respect, I wish COP28 every success in going down in history as a ‘COP of Unity, Action and Delivery’.

Thank you.