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6th GECF Summit: The Doha Declaration- Natural Gas: Shaping the Energy Future

 Doha, Qatar

We, the Heads of State and Government of Member Countries of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), at the invitation of His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Amir of the State of Qatar, gathered in Doha on 22 February 2022 for the 6th GECF Summit in the spirit of solidarity and cooperation enshrined in the Statute of the GECF

i) Recalling: 

The Declarations of the GECF Summits held in Doha, the State of Qatar, in 2011; Moscow, the Russian Federation, in 2013; Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, in 2015; Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Plurinational State of Bolivia, in 2017; and Malabo, Republic of Equatorial Guinea, in 2019;

ii) Reaffirming: 

a. The absolute and permanent sovereign rights of Member Countries over their natural gas resources;

b. The willingness of the GECF Member Countries to develop their natural gas resources for the benefit of both producers and consumers;

c. The commitment to the objectives of the GECF, and the intention to enhance its role;

iii) Acknowledging:

a. The pivotal role of natural gas in satisfying world energy needs, and in achieving all the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, in particular in ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all; 

b. The growing share of natural gas in the global energy mix as the fuel of choice, and its importance for economic development, social progress, and the protection of the environment; 

c. The positive contributions of eco-friendly use of natural gas toward improving air quality and climate change mitigation and adaptation, in line with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement; 

d. The leading position of Member Countries, who enjoy the largest share of natural gas resources, production, and trade in the world; 

e. The increasing pace of global energy transitions and advancement of modern technologies, which unleash great potential of natural gas as a viable fuel, to enhance global energy security, eradicate energy poverty, and build flexible, resilient and sustainable energy systems, in synergy with other energy sources;

f. The crucial importance of continued investment in and development of natural gas resources and related infrastructures to ensure energy security and resilient energy systems;

g. The negative impact of extreme market volatility on natural gas demand and its affordability, and the need for far-sighted energy policies that embed natural gas as a reliable and flexible source for baseload energy generation;

h. The importance of security of demand, transparent, non-discriminatory legal frameworks and predictable energy, trade, fiscal, and environmental policies in gas consuming and transit countries. 

iv) Reiterating:

a. The determination to strengthen global energy security as reliable suppliers of natural gas to meet the world’s growing energy demand;

b. The importance of coordination and cooperation within and between Member Countries, and the dialogue between producers, consumers and other relevant stakeholders, for the promotion of international cooperation aimed at ensuring the viability and sustainability of gas markets;

c. The strategic role of the development, deployment, and transfer of advanced technologies for more effective production and utilisation of natural gas with the objective to enhance its economic and environmental benefits;

d. The importance of long-term gas and LNG contracts, and equitable and stable prices in support of continued investments in the vital global gas industry.

v) Expressing:

a. Our appreciation to the people, who worked under difficult conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic to keep the natural gas systems reliable and resilient;

b. Our determination to continue working together and overcome the negative consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide efficient and reliable gas supplies and further develop the gas industry;

c. Our deep concern and disagreement in regards to unilateral economic restrictions undertaken without the approval of the United Nations Security Council and extraterritorial application of national laws and regulations against GECF Member Countries that negatively affect the development and trade of natural gas;

d. Our concern on the use of the climate agenda to perpetuate inequality, the introduction of discriminatory practices, and the instigation of protectionist measures in direct contravention of global trade rules. 

Inspired by the Declarations of our previous Summits and guided by the GECF Statute, collectively resolve to:

1. Promote natural gas as an abundant, affordable, clean, and reliable source of energy, and as the fuel of choice to satisfy the growing world energy needs, and to address climate change and improve air quality; 

2. Encourage the expanded use of natural gas domestically and internationally to address the gap in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7, which affects the most vulnerable; 

3. Strengthen natural gas’ environmental credentials, in particular through efforts to reduce gas flaring and methane emissions, and the development of eco-friendly technologies, including carbon capture, utilisation, and storage;

4. Pursue the necessary steps for natural gas to be treated as an environmentally friendly good in climate and investment regulations, international banking and global trade. Furthermore, to work with relevant stakeholders to co-develop joint initiatives for climate action, especially in view of COP27 Climate Change Conference, which will be hosted by Egypt this year;

5. Improve conditions for the international trade of gas, based on the most effective and efficient practices; 

6. Work towards increasing the share of natural gas in maritime and land transport, and to develop necessary infrastructure to provide natural gas to consumers; 

7. Support the fundamental role of long-term gas contracts as well as the gas pricing based on oil/oil products indexation to ensure stable investments in development of natural gas resources;

8. Augment the positioning of the GECF by increasing its global visibility, attracting new members, promoting partnerships, facilitating dialogue between producers and consumers, and broadening cooperation with relevant international organisations and entities; 

9. Harness the position of the GECF as the leading platform for its Member Countries to cooperate and coordinate on natural gas matters by further developing the Forum’s expertise, and mechanisms for joint undertakings;

10. Expand cooperation in natural gas technologies, scientifically-guided research, and innovation-led capacity-building, inter alia, through the GECF Gas Research Institute; 

11. Explore new areas of cooperation within the GECF with a goal to leverage the advantages of natural gas for hydrogen production as well as production and utilisation of new gases;

12. Collaborate within the GECF as well as with consumers and transit countries to protect critical gas infrastructure and to enhance resilience to natural disasters, technological incidents, and man-made threats, such as malicious use of information and communication technologies.

The Heads of State and Government welcomed the proposal of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria to host the 7th GECF Summit in 2023.

The Heads of State and Government of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum extend their appreciation to His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Amir of the State of Qatar, for the excellent leadership of the Sixth GECF Summit, and to the Government and the people of the State of Qatar for their warm hospitality. 

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6th GECF Summit: The Doha Declaration- Natural Gas: Shaping the Energy Future  Doha, Qatar
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