Press release: Oil and gas industry needs to step up climate efforts now

(International Energy Agency, 20 Jan 2020) Oil and gas companies are facing a critical challenge as the world increasingly shifts towards clean energy transitions.

Fossil fuels drive the companies’ near-term returns, but failure to address growing calls to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could threaten their long-term social acceptability and profitability.

The oil and gas industry now needs to make clear what clean energy transitions mean for it – and what it can do to accelerate clean energy transitions.

Whatever path the world follows in its efforts to limit the rise in global temperatures, intensifying climate impacts will increase the pressure on all industries to find solutions. While some oil and gas companies have taken steps to support efforts to combat climate change, the industry as a whole could play a much more significant role through its engineering capabilities, financial resources and project-management expertise, according to the IEA’s Oil and Gas Industry in Energy Transitions report, which was released today.

“No energy company will be unaffected by clean energy transitions,” said Dr Fatih Birol. “Every part of the industry needs to consider how to respond. Doing nothing is simply not an option.”

The landscape of the oil and gas industry is diverse, meaning there is no single strategic response but a variety of approaches depending on each company’s circumstances.

“The first immediate task for all parts of the industry is reducing the environmental footprint of their own operations,” Dr Birol said. “As of today, around 15% of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions come from the process of getting oil and gas out of the ground and to consumers. A large part of these emissions can be brought down relatively quickly and easily.”

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International Energy Agency, 20 Jan 2020: Press release: Oil and gas industry needs to step up climate efforts now