Since the Paris Agreement on Climate Change was signed in 2015, addressing climate change concerns has been a significant topic of discussion globally. It’s clear that governments — federal, state/provincial and local — will continue to act on the issue of global climate change over the months and years ahead. To succeed in a low carbon economy, we must play a constructive role in these public policy discussions to ensure that approaches to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to address the impacts of climate change are practical, equitable and cost effective.
We recently worked with members of IPIECA, the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues, to publish the ‘Exploring Low- Emissions Pathways’ report. Our Climate Change Director Malcolm Fawcett played an instrumental role in the creation of the report, which is based on expert feedback from academia, business, governments, and international and non-governmental organizations. The overarching goal of the report is to address the industry response to the aims of the Paris Agreement. It considers implications and next steps for long-term policy and technology in response to climate change concerns.
When IPIECA put together an earlier report, ‘The Paris Puzzle,’ prior to the Agreement, they likened the response that would be required to a two-sided jigsaw puzzle – one where you have all the pieces, but no one can see the picture and no one is quite sure that the pieces are the right way up. In developing the Low-Emissions Pathways paper it appeared to be more like a three-dimensional puzzle that would require piecing together industry response, environmental and energy policy, technology, science and finance.
The paper draws on three common elements found in the construction of 2-degree C scenarios: improving energy efficiency of transportation and industrial processes; reducing emissions from power generation; and reducing emissions from sectors of the economy that cannot be electrified economically.
The report concludes that the key to solving the puzzle is collaboration, combined with effective policy, and the availability of financing. It also became clear that carbon capture and storage would be a key enabling technology. We are proud to be working with our peers in the oil and natural gas industry to address climate change concerns.