OPEC’s commitment

OPEC Bulletin Commentary December 2007

As 2007 draws to a close, what can we, as an industry, take forward for 2008? It is not a question with any given answer, and it is likely to elicit an array of responses from a variety of stakeholders. Yet, what is core to all of us is to look beyond the near term. Despite all uncertainties, it remains clear that we all stand to benefit from a stable, sustainable and environmentally conscious energy future.

It is something on which OPEC places great credence. This is why the Third Summit of OPEC Heads of State and Government held last month emphasized the triumvirate of providing petroleum, promoting prosperity and protecting the environment. Moreover, the Riyadh Declaration agreed that the principles to guide the Organization and its Member Countries’ economic, energy and environmental endeavours into the future are: the stability of global energy markets; energy for sustainable development; and, energy and the environment.

From its inception, stability has always been a central tenet of OPEC’s market outlook. Today, globalization and increasing economic interdependence make this even more of a necessity. It is fundamental in not only securing the efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, but also as a means to provide for a steady and reasonable income to the petroleum resource-owning producers and a fair return on capital to those investing in the industry. OPEC is committed to the stability of global energy markets.

OPEC and its Member Countries are steadfast in their determination to help advance sustainable development and eradicate poverty, by way of providing the needed supplies of petroleum, supporting global initiatives such as the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, as well as through the OPEC Fund for International Development and its Member Countries’ bilateral, regional and multilateral aid agencies. It is critical that the world community continues to make sure access to reliable, affordable, economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally sound energy services is available for all. OPEC is committed to energy for sustainable development.

The use of energy poses various local and global environmental challenges. While it is recognized that developed countries should take the lead, in line with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, OPEC’s Member Countries will continue to respond to environmental challenges before them, as well as further develop collaboration in the petroleum field among science and technology institutions. In this regard, a number of OPEC Members at the Riyadh Summit pledged $750 million to help fund research and development in this area. There will also be continued support for international efforts, such as through the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, to address these issues in the most comprehensible, equitable and effective manner. OPEC is committed to energy and the protection of the environment.

To the world at large, the interrelationships among economic growth, social progress and the protection of the environment will be fundamental in the years ahead. It means that as an industry providing such essential goods and services, we must be inclusive and continue to develop and explore existing and new avenues of cooperation with innovative thinking, proactive stance, timely adaptation and swift action on these issues.

For OPEC, these commitments are both short- and long-term. They will be part of any decision-making process at December’s OPEC Conference in Abu Dhabi, as well as the years ahead. The Organization recognizes its leading role in meeting growing global energy needs and will do all it can to make sure that these principles benefit both this and future generations.

Season’s greetings and a happy new year to all our readers! We will see you in 2008.

This Commentary is taken from the December 2007 edition of the OPEC Bulletin, which can be downloaded free of charge in PDF format from the OPEC website.

OPEC Bulletin (December 2007)

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