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Financing critical for climate change targets in developing countries – OPEC

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) says financing remains critical in meeting any climate change target for developing countries.

Mohammed Barkindo, Secretary General of OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) speaks during the 25th Caspian International Oil and Gas Conference in Baku, Azerbaijan on May 30, 2018. Photo credit: Resul Rehimov/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Dr Mohammad Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General, disclosed this at a video conference, entitled: “Ministerial  Roundtable on Energy, Climate and Sustainability” on Monday, September 6, 2021.

“Financing is critical to reach any climate targets set in developing countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). There has been a lot of talk about finance issues from developed countries, but so far, a disappointing amount of pledges have been realised.

“Developing countries have indicated the need for enhanced support, including financial resources, technology development, transfer, capacity building to aid adaptation,  and back increased ambitions for climate action.

“It should also be noted that COVID-19 has made circumstances more difficult for oil-producing developing countries, which already face devastating losses that can  accompany mitigation and adaptation action.”

He said the false dichotomy in oil and gas development and the environment had often been seen as the antithesis of one another but  not the case.

According to him, the two can go hand-in-hand, adding that there is need to continually show this in both words and deeds.

“Here I am not only talking about the years to come, it will be vital at COP26, that takes place this year from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12.

“These climate change negotiations will have a significant impact on our industry in times, when economies are striving to recover from the COVID-19 health crisis, and build back resilient and inclusive societies.

“We hope that our discussions today will help us all reach a clearer understanding on issues of importance for oil-producing countries, and the world as a whole, as stakeholders move forward in the implementation of international environmental goals.

“It is clear that we are at our best when we work together as a team and present a unified voice,’’ he added.

This, he said, had been vital in the work to aid  recovery of the oil market from the impacts of the pandemic.

Barkindo added that it would be vital in achieving comprehensive and inclusive solutions to the questions surrounding energy, climate and sustainable development.

On moves to ensure cleaner energy and reduce emission, the OPEC scribe said that all voices must be carried along in the global pursuit.

“However, despite the greater attention, all warranted,  giving the pressing need to shrink global emissions, alleviate energy poverty and find a sustainable  way forward that delivers for each and every person on this planet, the parameters of the public discourse often seem reduced to the question: are you for, or against fossil fuels?

“It is perhaps,  the ultimate false dichotomy. It erroneously limits what options are available. It should not be a question about ‘one or the  other.

“For a challenge of this scope, the solutions require more comprehensiveness. No-one should be left behind. All voices need to be heard, and listened to.

“We all share this planet. We need a multilateral system at the centre of our energy, climate and sustainable development future,’’ he said .

He noted that OPEC, as an intergovernmental organisation, had always been a proud member of the multilateral system.

“It is integral to our existence and central to our raison d’être, as can be viewed most recently, through the prism of the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC).

“It is important to state that OPEC has continuously been a promoter of both sustainable development and efforts to combat climate change, with a focus on the need to utilise all solutions to reduce green house emissions and adapt to their impact, and at the same time,  ensure energy access for all,” he said .

He said that as a recipients of some of the worst impacts of climate change, there was no climate deniers at OPEC.

By Edith Ike-Eboh

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