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Fossil Fuel Firms Set COP28 Deadline for Net Zero Plans

Oil and gas firms have been challenged to prove they are committed to supporting net zero goals at COP28 by Fatih Birol, CEO of the International Energy Agency. In a commentary article, Birol said, “The world needs to see meaningful changes in the operations of both international and national oil companies, with clear and responsible strategies for bringing down their emissions rapidly.” The hosting of COP28 in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates has caused some controversy and President-Designate Sultan Al-Jaber, also CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, was criticised earlier this month for focusing on reducing carbon emissions, rather than fossil fuel usage. A number of fossil fuel firms have faced investor resolutions for not aligning their strategies with the IEA’s Net Zero by 2050 pathway. Birol said the oil and gas industry already has “the technologies, the money and the know-how” to cut its emissions by 60% by 2030, estimated to cost US$600 billion in a recent IEA report, and “much less than the trillions of dollars the industry accrued last year off the back of record high energy prices”. The IEA chief said oil and gas firms needed to tackle methane emissions as a matter of priority, also emphasising the role of hydrogen and carbon capture, technologies flagged in a recent speech by Al-Jaber. “The industry now needs to show the world that it can make a positive contribution to tackling climate change,” said Birol. Prior to COP28, the IEA will publish a report mapping a net zero path for oil and gas producers.


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