July 18, 2019
KOTA KINABALU: The oil and gas industry is being blamed for contributing over half of the world’s global warming factors, particularly carbon dioxide emission by various fossil fuel energy users.
At the recent Sabah Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition 2019, a Panel Discussion on Sustainable Development: Addressing the “Energy Trilemma” – Striking the right balance between energy security, affordability and sustainability was held.
Regretting that such a poignant subject be relegated to the last day’s penultimate session, not the opening keynote address where decision making VIPs and civil servants were present, Moderator Datuk Dr Johan Arriffin let loose a poser whether some petroleum firms were just indulging in tokenism promoting green issues, or worse, just offered lips service on tackling substantively environmental concerns.
Addressing the issues were Group Managing Director Nan Yusri Nan Rahimy of Deleum Bhd and Head of Climate Change Research Group Prof. Dr Justin Sentian of UMS’ Faculty of Science and Natural Resources.
Prof. Dr Justin Sentian presented that international communities have forged benchmarks for the energy sector in the face of climate-related risk, deemed the climate emergency.
“Fact No. 1. The Paris Climate Agreement (Paris, 2015) aims at:
limiting the increase in global temperature in 2100 to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5°C;
Increasing the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change by promoting low carbon, climate resilient growth;
Making finance flows consistent with this pathway.
“Fact No. 2: The current carbon emissions trajectory must be radically changed to comply with the Paris Agreement;
“Fact No. 3: The risks of inaction are significant – 10 per cent losses to global GDP in 2100 if no action is taken to reduce carbon emissions. (Source: OECD (2016), The economic consequences of climate change, OECD Publishing, Paris);
Some USD 12,000 billion the amount of stranded assets by 2050 – 3 per cent of current capital stock – if policies remain unchanged. (Source: IRENA (2019): Global energy transformation: a roadmap to 2050).
“Fact No. 4: The financing needed for a successful transition is substantial.
“Some USD 830 billion per year is the additional annual average energy related investment needed to limit warming to 1.5°C for the period from 2016 to 2050. (Source: PCC (2018): “Summary for policymakers”, in: Global Warming of 1.5°C).
Nan Yusri Nan Rahimy elaborated on Malaysia’s commitment to International Environment Agreements.
He said a major revision occurred over the course of 2017, with the addition of numerous bilateral agreements and a wholescale updating of membership actions for all multi-environment agreements or MEAs and a large number of bilateral-environmental agreements or BEAs.
There are over 1,300 MEAs, and over 2,200 BEAs, besides 250 other environmental agreements, and over 90,000 individual country “membership actions” (dates of signature, ratification, or entry into force).
“The major or notable international Environment Agreements are:
Kyoto Protocol which is an international agreement between industrialized nations to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
It is named after Kyoto, Japan where the agreement was drawn up in 1997 at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and,
Paris Agreement / Protocol which is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance, signed in 2016.
“This was negotiated by representatives of 196 state parties at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in France (COP 21).
“As of March 2019, 195 UNFCCC members have signed the agreement, and 186 have become party to it.
“The Paris Agreement’s long-term goal is to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels; and to limit the increase to 1.5 °C, since this would substantially reduce the risks and effects of climate change,” he said.
The recommendations were to integrate climate-related risks into financial stability monitoring and micro-supervision with the following moves: -
Integrating sustainability factors into own-portfolio management
Bridging data gaps
Building awareness and intellectual capacity and encouraging technical assistance and knowledge sharing
Achieving robust and internationally consistent climate and environment-related disclosure
Supporting the development of a taxonomy of economic activities.
The panel noted that Malaysia had pledged to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 in relation to 2005 GDP and to maintain at least 50 per cent level of forest and tree conservation in the face of logging and oil palm plantation expansion.
Dr Justin Sentian lauded the Oil & Gas Climate Change Initiative (OGCI) undertaken by 13 oil and gas companies – BP, Chevron, CNPC, Eni, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Occidental Petroleum, Pemex, Petrobras, Repsol, Saudi Aramco, Shell, and Total to make good in whatever way possible. He said he did not see Petronas’ name on this list.
This include bottom-up, voluntary, industry-driven initiative to enable the Oil and Gas industry to work collaboratively to address climate concerns.
The initiative serves as a platform to collaboratively advance technological solutions and to catalyse meaningful action and coordination on climate change.
The formation of OGCI Climate Investments to invest one billion dollars over the next decade to accelerate the development of innovative game-changing technologies that have the potential to reduce emissions on significant scale. The selected low emissions technologies will also be adopted and deployed by the OGCI companies within their businesses and operations.