Doha, December 2021
Solving the Energy Crisis: Industry Experts Discuss the Year Ahead at the Al-Attiyah Foundation CEO Round Table
CEOs, scientists and experts came together to reflect on the events of 2021 and discuss the challenges the energy industry faces in the year ahead at the quarterly CEO Roundtable hosted by the Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah International Foundation for Energy and Sustainable Development.
The roundtable, titled “2022 Global Energy Landscape,” featured distinguished guest speakers; Paul Stevens, Economist at Chatham House; Alan Gelder, VP Refining at Wood Mackenzie; Jim Herbertson, Technical Director - Climate and Energy at International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA); and John Kemp Senior Market Analyst, Commodities and Energy at Thomson Reuters.
At the event, held in Doha on December 1 and moderated by Reuters editor at large Axel Threlfall, the experts discussed the implications of the Glasgow Climate Pact that was agreed by nearly 200 nations at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November.
Although the guest speakers agreed that the explicit plan to reduce coal emissions is a positive step in the fight against manmade climate change, they also expressed their disappointment that the treaty didn’t go further than simply stipulate the “phasing down” of the single biggest source of greenhouse gases.
Delegates at COP26 in Glasgow had committed to “phase out” coal in earlier negotiation drafts but after some opposition to the idea, the pact had to be changed in last-minute negotiations. In the end, countries agreed to “phase down” rather than “phase out” coal, amid expressions of disappointment by some. COP26 President Alok Sharma said he was "deeply sorry" for how events had unfolded.
Guest speakers and Foundation members also spoke of the challenges the industry is likely to face in 2022, including the conflict between growing energy demands, spurred by a rapid global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and transition away from carbon heavy fossil fuels to cleaner sources of energy.
It was noted that transition-related spending is gradually picking up and the amount of available renewable energy is increasing but remains far short of what is required to meet rising demand for energy services in a sustainable way.
Getting the world on track for net-zero emissions by 2050 - a target consistent with the goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement - would require clean energy transition-related investment to accelerate from current levels to around $4 trillion annually by 2030, according to the IEA. That would mark an increase of more than three times the current investment.
His Excellency Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, Chairman of Al-Attiyah Foundation and former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Energy of Qatar, highlighted the importance of hosting the Roundtable in December to reflect on major events from 2021 and discuss how to deal with the issues facing the sector in 2022.
“It gave me great pleasure to host the fourth and final Al-Attiyah Foundation Roundtable of this year. To be able to meet our members and guests face-to-face underlines the excellent progress the State of Qatar has made in the pushback against the coronavirus,” His Excellency said.
“The fact that industry leaders and expert guest speakers were able to share ideas and opinions on the most pertinent issues facing our sector, underlines the importance and uniqueness of the Foundation’s CEO Roundtable. I very much look forward to hosting the next one in early 2022.”
The Al-Attiyah Foundation will continue the conversation in its Energy Webinar Series which will be held today, 02 December 2021. Interested members of the general public are welcome to join the webinar through links on the Al-Attiyah Foundation’s social media sites.
The interactive debate, titled “2022 Global Energy Landscape: Will the Crises Continue?” will feature guest speakers from the same organisations as the CEO Roundtable and will allow viewers to interact with proceedings through a variety of polls based on the topics discussed.