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Eradicating energy poverty must remain top of our agenda – OPEC

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) says eradicating energy poverty must remain top of the agenda even as the world continues to combat climate change.

Mohammad Barkindo
OPEC Secretary-General, Mohammad Barkindo. Photo credit: REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

Mr Mohammad Barkindo, Secretary General, OPEC, made this known on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, at the virtual 21st Coordination Meeting on Climate Change.

Barkindo noted that it had become clear that the world was not doing enough to reach the Paris Agreement temperature goal hence the need for all countries to enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

“However, developing countries in particular are struggling more than ever with energy security in the face of the pandemic, in addition to climate change adaptation measures.

“Therefore, it is essential that we leverage this platform to enhance collaboration and cooperation on these issues.

“We need to continue to fight for energy security in a sustainable and just manner, apart from the climate change challenges.

“Eradicating energy poverty must remain at the top of our agenda,” he said.

According to him, OPEC is concerned that hasty and impulsive decisions can lead to a disorderly energy transition, which will see energy exporting developing countries lose out again.

He said: “In order for our countries to develop and for just transition to occur, we need to have the opportunity to develop our energy resources in a clean way as possible.

“This requires international cooperation and partnership and the provision of sufficient finance, along with technology research and transfer.

“This will have the additional effect of supporting oil market stability and in turn the world economy, which is still recovering from the pandemic.”

Barkindo said when countries experience energy stress, they would grasp at whatever energy sources are available, at the cost of higher greenhouse gas emissions.

He noted that in the end, affordable, clean energy for all was necessary for both the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals and to achieve the Paris Agreement goal.

“It will require the contribution of all forms of energy, with technology supporting their most efficient possible production and use.

“Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen. We want to see a just and inclusive transition occur.

“One that builds resilient, equitable and sustainable societies. In order for this to happen, universal access to reliable and affordable modern energy sources and energy stability are requirements.

“Our work over more than five years through the Declaration of Cooperation has this goal in mind,” the OPEC boss said.

By Solomon Asowata

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