The International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP) welcomed the historic COP21 agreement in Paris last week. IOGP says that the agreement is consistent with the association’s policy on climate change, which recognizes the inherent risks of greenhouse gas emissions and views the oil & gas industry as part of the solution to the climate change issue. As part of that, IOGP is now assessing the implications of the COP21 agreement for its membership.
Access to affordable and reliable energy is essential to human prosperity and well-being. According to the International Energy Agency, oil and gas will be a vital part of the energy mix for decades to come – even while working to the goal of keeping any rise in global temperature to below 2°C.
Cleaner-burning natural gas for power generation is a pragmatic and efficient way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. When used to produce electricity, gas emits roughly half of the carbon dioxide that coal does. IOGP says that, gas, therefore, provides an ideal backup to solar power when the sun is not shining and to wind power during still periods.
Oil will also remain essential for the foreseeable future. It has no practical rivals in three crucial applications: as a lubricant to enhance the operating efficiency of engines and turbines (including wind); as a feedstock for products such as the fertilizers needed to enable the world’s rapidly growing population to continue feeding itself; and as a transport fuel – particularly in aviation.
With all of that in mind, IOGP considers that the COP21 accord, with its reference to proceeding “in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty,” is a welcome step, and that it will advance an open-minded, realistic debate regarding the energy mix required for an orderly progression toward a lower-carbon world.
The International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (now IOGP and formerly known as OGP) is a voice for the global upstream industry.