Al-Attiyah Foundation think tank hosts global energy experts at the
10th Bosphorus Summit to explore the re-ordering of energy sources
The Al-Attiyah Foundation, the leading energy and sustainable development think tank based in Qatar, hosted world energy experts for two engaging panel sessions focused on the ‘Geo-politics of Energy and Transitions to a New World Order’, at the 10th Bosphorus Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, on 28th November 2019.
In line with the vision of the Foundation’s Chairman, His Excellency Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, the Foundation’s ongoing strategic partnership with the Uluslararasi Işbirlği Platforumu, International Cooperation Platform (UIP-ICP), who organise the leading summit, provides an opportunity to enhance proactive multilateral and inter-disciplinary cooperation for sustainable development.
As the only energy and sustainable development think tank to partner the ICP Bosphorus Summit, the Al-Attiyah Foundation convened global thought-leaders from academia, industry and government, to share opinions and potential solutions to the challenges faced by the world as it transitions towards a sustainable energy future.
During the two energy panel sessions, the first panelist, Professor Paul Stevens, Distinguished Fellow, Chatham House, highlighted: “If the transition to renewables and low-carbon electricity happens faster than the energy establishment anticipates, the implications for exporters of oil and for the geopolitics of oil will be very serious. For example, the failure of many oil-exporting countries to reduce their dependence on hydrocarbon revenues and diversify their economies will leave them extremely vulnerable to reduced oil and gas demand in their main markets.”
Professor Steven’s views reflect those outlined in a report released by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in October 2018, which affirmed that a huge transformation of the energy sector will be required and that an average investment of $3 trillion a year will be needed, in the next 30-years, to transform the world energy systems. It is expected that much of the investment will involve shifting money away from fossil fuel systems. Thus, clean energy investments must overtake fossil fuel investments by around 2025.
Since energy is crucial to the production of almost all goods and services of the modern world; and is a dominant contributor to climate change, accounting for 60% of total global greenhouse gas emissions, the challenge to reduce such emissions is immense. Michael Grubb, Research Director and Professor Energy and Climate Change, University College London (UCL) – Institute of Sustainable Resources and Energy Institute, expressed in his session “climate change is a pressing global issue with time running out to avoid dangerous anthropogenic interference. Some countries are leading the way, and reducing their CO2 emissions, aided by clean energy technologies. The initiatives open up new paths for global energy and economic development’’
Akito Matsumoto, a Senior Economist, Commodities Unit, International Monetary Fund (IMF), concluded during his session “that natural gas and renewables are set to play an important role in the future energy mix despite the huge uncertainty in what energy policies and technologies will be at play in the future.”
The views shared by the panellists at the Bosphorus Summit 10, highlighted the great challenges faced by the world in its efforts to de-carbonise the energy sector. What is clear, is that all energy sources will be required, as well as societal changes and strong leadership from both industry and government.
Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency echoed these views in the World Energy Outlook 2019: “What comes through with crystal clarity in this year’s World Energy Outlook is that there is no single or simple solution to transforming global energy systems. Many technologies and fuels have a part to play across all sectors of the economy. For this to happen, we need strong leadership from policy makers, as governments hold the clearest responsibility to act and have the greatest scope to shape the future.”