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About the critical role of Oil and Gas companies in achieving SDG and Paris

The sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement lay out a global consensus on the need to curb human-induced climate change and to achieve sustainable development. These concepts are linked. The urgency of addressing climate change is critical for global efforts to reduce poverty and advance sustainable development, but also climate-change mitigation must be pursued in a manner consistent with ending poverty, promoting economic development, respecting human rights, and ensuring social inclusion. CCSI and the SDSN published a consultative draft note in January 2017, summarizing the ways in which international oil and gas companies can help expand access to affordable and clean energy and take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. We have now incorporated the excellent feedback received and are pleased to share the revised briefing note. The briefing note outlines steps the oil and gas industry can take to prepare their businesses for the future, to strengthen efficiency and impact of current operations, and to leverage resources for broader partnerships and collaboration.

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Comment by Antipas Massawe on June 29, 2017 at 22:00

Hi Piet

I’m happy to meet you again here.

Me think,

Yes, role of Oil n Gas companies, (and I add) plus the developed and/or oil and natural gas richest economies most benefiting from the global oil and gas businesses of these companies is critical in the SDGs and the Paris Agreement on the need to curb human-induced climate change and to achieve sustainable development.

It is a role mainly accomplished through the continuing financing of the research and development of oil and gas technologies to enhance the survival-ability of their power provision where oil and gas power sources could be made the most global competitive in terms of available capacities, cost effectiveness, environmental friendliness, etc.

And that, my thought is founded on belief that continuing R&D of progressive solutions should be motivated, empowered and left to solve the disadvantages of power sourcing from the different sources available, hence determine which power source (s) would dominate the provision of global competitive power here and there on the planet based on their available capacities, costs, environmental friendliness, etc.

Comment by Piet Wostyn on June 27, 2017 at 22:27

Hi Perrine, thanks for referring to your briefing note. It was with interest that I browsed through the document. Allow me to share some of my comments - basically, I believe we should be more ambitious and more consciously choose the path of renewables and sustainability. 

"How international oil companies can help expand access to affordable and clean energy (SDG7) and take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (SDG13)." sounds quite contradictory to me... Asking the same companies who (co-)created the problem and during decades (!) worsened the situation, to clean up the mess? When you mention that “almost two-thirds of known reserves need to be left underground”, shouldn't we consider then a more immediate phase out as crucial?

Developing countries too should make the transition to sustainable and renewable energy. But I strongly plead for them to do so immediately without passing through a fossil fuel stage (this stage can be very addictive...). I can agree with the argument of ‘ecological debt’, and I understand that a transitional period is unavoidable, but at the same time one should consider that renewables are economically more interesting already today. It costs less to produce one KWh from solar than from f.e. nuclear energy. The argument that access to low-cost alternative energy sources is increasingly incorrect. Furthermore, it should not become an excuse for more 'business as usual'. We need a stronger motivation (political will?) to swiftly increase the access to low-cost energy sources – not so difficult as one might think (in my humble opinion).

Also, your briefing note states that “some of today’s oil and gas companies will become tomorrow’s highly diversified energy companies offering an array of net-zero emissions energy sources”. This sounds of course very appealing: some companies (fe. Danish gas&oil if I’m not mistaken) have demonstrate that it is possible, but I doubt whether many more will follow. Secondly, ‘some companies...’ is not enough… the urgency of climate change cannot be stressed enough; current progress is heading towards ‘too little, too late’. Further, I believe that a second shift is needed, apart from switching from fossil to renewable: Energy should (and will) be generated more decentrally, the new infrastructure to be built should consider this right from the start. An oligarch position of a few (converted at best) multinational companies allows for distortions, power imbalance and a low political accountability.

I doubt whether the oil&gas companies are best placed to “to test and implement large-scale CCS within a public-private partnership framework”; aren’t there a lot of other new candidates ready for this? Also, the argument that “Many of those without modern energy access are located in developing countries where oil and gas companies have a long history of operating, giving them familiarity with local challenges.” Does not convince me: the oil and gas companies often have failed to demonstrate a genuine interest in improving conditions of the many…

Finally, your briefing note already demonstrates why natural gas and oil is too risky business if we seriously want to take on the challenge of staying below 1,5°… ‘Minimizing impact’, ‘helping to lower emissions’, sounds like an excuse for a disaster waiting to happen…

In conclusion, I believe that new players should be considered when it comes to PPP in search of achieving especially SDG 7 and 13.

And yes, “The smart money for the future is on … green-energy sources”  Let’s make a plead to take gas out of this equation… 

Looking forward to read your reaction to the above comments :-)

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