Barkindo Laments Contradictions in Global Push for Cleaner Fuels

Emmanuel Addeh

Secretary General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Dr Sanusi Barkindo, has bemoaned the contradictions in the world’s richest countries’ call for more oil production and at the same time stopping investment in the sector.

In a keynote address at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum in Washington DC, United States, the Nigerian-born OPEC chief insisted that the world needed to ensure that energy remains affordable for all.

 In addition, the outgoing Secretary General stated that there was the need to transition to a more inclusive, fair, and equitable world in which every person has access to energy as referenced in UN Sustainable Development Goal 7.

While admitting that countries should reduce emissions, however he maintained that oil has a role to play in each part of the process.

He reiterated that to put energy demand growth in some context, OPEC continues to see global energy demand rising by 28 per cent in the period by 2045, clearly requiring huge investments.

In the same vein, he repeated that the oil industry alone, the OPEC World Oil Outlook sees required investments totalling $11.8 trillion through to 2045. 

Barkindo said that these investments are essential for both producers and consumers, particularly given the huge investment drop of 30 per cent seen in 2020.

“More energy, more investments are required.  However, we also hear conflicting statements on these issues as exhibited most recently by the G7 Ministers of Climate, Energy and the Environment.

“They called for oil and gas producing countries, including reference to OPEC, to play a key role in ensuring stable and sustainable global energy supplies, but at the same time committed themselves to end financing for most overseas fossil fuel projects by the end of 2022. I think there is a saying in English: ‘you can’t have your cake and eat it.’

“To put it simply: if investments are not made globally, if the capital does not flow, and at the same time if consumers are still demanding the product, we could see further major energy insecurity in various forms,” he argued.

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