‘Energy turmoil’ looms unless demand is checked, says Cop28 president

(The Guardian, 20 Feb 2024) Sultan Al Jaber, an oil executive, calls for governments to be ‘honest’ about costs involved in transition to net zero.

The problem of the ever-growing demand for power must be addressed if the world is not to risk descending into “energy turmoil” as it transitions towards clean energy, according to the president of last year’s Cop28 summit.

In a discussion hosted by the International Energy Agency, Sultan Al Jaber warned governments that they must be “honest and transparent” about the potential costs of transition, and the trade-offs involved in transforming energy supplies.

Al Jaber said: “The energy transition will lead to energy turmoil … if we only address the supply side of the energy equation.

“We must be balanced, we must tackle the demand side … We cannot and should not pursue the energy transition by only looking and working on one side of the equation.”

“Massive investment” was required to commercialise zero-carbon alternatives to heavy industries, and in new grid infrastructure to deliver renewable energy to end users, he said. Al Jaber is the chief executive of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), which is planning a $150bn investment (£120m) in oil and gas over seven years. Al Jaber previously said this investment was to meet continuing demand for oil and gas.

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The Guardian, 20 Feb 2024: ‘Energy turmoil’ looms unless demand is checked, says Cop28 president