CEO reiterates need for the world to craft a more robust model for energy transition
Amin Nasser receives prestigious award, calls for a multi-source, multi-speed, and multi-dimensional approach at World Petroleum Congress.
The world needs to redouble efforts to craft a more sensible plan for the global energy transition, one that accommodates the disparate needs of developing countries and avoids supply shortages, president and CEO Amin Nasser said at the 24th World Petroleum Congress (WPC) in Calgary.
In a keynote speech on the conference’s theme of “Energy Transition: The Path to Net Zero,” Nasser expanded on a call first made two years ago for global energy leaders and policymakers to design a better plan to sharply curb emissions by 2050.
“It is time to reunite around a more robust transition,” Nasser said at the WPC, calling for a multi-source, multi-speed, and multi-dimensional approach. “The only plausible way forward is to address transition shortcomings and their consequences head-on.”
Nasser said it must be acknowledged that oil and gas will be a crucial part of the energy mix for years to come, as renewables, despite swift growth in solar and wind, only make up about 5% of current global energy consumption.
Security and affordability
“Phasing out conventional energy prematurely could put energy security and affordability priorities at risk,” he said. This could generate, “ … an even more serious energy crisis where countries and people, not just assets, are stranded.”
More attention should also be paid to the unique needs and constraints of developing countries.
“While much of the Global North is focusing on environmental sustainability, the priority for many in the Global South is economic survival,” he said.
Ensuring adequate supplies and reasonable prices for consumers are key considerations for policymakers and economies around the world.
“The world wobbles if these realities are ignored or wished away, and the public anger we have already seen could ultimately derail climate ambitions and actions themselves,” he said.
Nasser added that it is important to ensure that the model is flexible and effective across a varied landscape as the world works to move toward net zero and the size of today’s $100 trillion global economy may double by 2050.
A more inclusive model that recognizes the need for all types of energy would spur investments for new energy and the innovation needed to develop new technologies that further reduce the carbon footprint of fossil fuels.
Carbon capture and storage
The model should also place a greater emphasis on building carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects across sectors, harnessing the “invisible fuel” of energy efficiency that makes up 40% of emissions abatements needed by 2040, and developing direct air capture technologies, he said.
“It is time the world also gave greater attention to man-made carbon sinks, particularly CCS,” Nasser said. One scenario from the International Energy Agency suggested that integrating CCS with cement plants could cut CO2 emissions from the sector by 95% by 2050.
Some estimates suggest CCS capacity needs to grow 120 times by 2050 for countries to reach net zero. CCS can no longer be seen as peripheral: “It is central to our industry’s future. But even more importantly global climate goals,” he said.
At the same time, the model should include the potential of new materials to be developed that are more durable and sustainable and less carbon intensive to produce.
Steel, aluminum, and cement plants together account for about 20% of global CO2 emissions, he said, so, “ … a materials transition, in parallel with the energy transition, is essential.”
Attention should also be applied to the global food system, which accounts for up to one-third of greenhouse gas emissions, in large part due to livestock supply chains, he added.
Lastly, reforestation and forest conservation must be seen as crucial paths to significantly enhance the world’s carbon sequestration capacity.
The overall challenge amounts to, “ … the re-invention of our entire energy-based way of life in less than 30 years,” Nasser said. “Let us be inspired by that, but understand it means making history.”
Amin Nasser receives prestigious Dewhurst Award
CEO dedicates award at World Petroleum Congress to all at Aramco
President and CEO Amin Nasser was honored with the Dewhurst Award at the World Petroleum Congress (WPC) in Calgary, becoming the 12th recipient of the award that recognizes people who have made exceptional contributions to the energy industry.
In an acceptance speech, Nasser said he was humbled by the honor.
“Without the support of family and friends, teachers and leaders, peers and partners, such recognition would be impossible,” he said.
He especially thanked the company’s thousands of employees for always delivering to meet any challenge, regardless of size.
“I want to pay tribute to the men and women of Aramco,” he added. “This is their award too.”
The WPC, which conducts the congress every two years, was established in 1933 to promote the management of the world’s petroleum resources for the benefit of all. A non-governmental organization, it has members from 64 countries that represent 95% of global petroleum production and consumption.
Caption of the Top image: Amin Nasser delivers a speech after receiving an award at the World Petroleum Congress in Calgary.