First GECF meeting on climate change held
The Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) held a meeting on the important subject of climate change before the upcoming Conference of the Parties (COP 27), featuring a line-up of accomplished speakers from around the world.
The virtually-held event, “1st GECF Coordination Meeting in the run-up to COP 27”, was opened by HE Eng. Tarek El Molla, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of Egypt, and President of the GECF Ministerial Meeting in 2022. HE El Molla stressed that in view of the currently more pressing challenges of the energy trilemma of energy security, sustainability, and affordability, the role of natural gas remains pivotal in facilitating the energy transition.
“Our common goal, as gas exporting countries, is to provide gas resources in ways that are more responsible, environmentally-friendly, and with reduced impacts on the climate, including through CCUS, methane emissions reduction, and carbon circular economy”.
HE Eng. Mohamed Hamel, Secretary General of the GECF, told the audience that the meeting aimed to expand the knowledge-base about climate change from the perspective of natural gas suppliers.
“At the GECF, we believe that natural gas is an enabler of the energy transition, a transition that is smooth, just and leaves no one behind,” said HE Hamel. He also underlined that COP 27, being held in Africa and a GECF Member Country, is an opportunity to advocate for the right of African countries to socio-economic development and to the financial support pledged by developed countries. "It is also the place to advocate for the extended role of natural gas in sustainable development and in the energy transitions.”
Following the opening session, Mr Wael Farag, General Manager of Mitigation and Clean Development Mechanism of the Egyptian National Council on Climate Change, outlined the comprehensive plans put in place by the Egyptian government, the host of COP 27, to spur global action on climate.
Mr Bernd Hackmann from UNFCCC Secretariat provided an update on the global stocktake, while Professor Chukwumerije Okereke from IPCC Working Group III (WG3) discussed the key outcomes of the WG3 report.
Dr Hamza Merabet, Permanent Researcher in Algeria’s Renewable Energy Development Centre discussed technology mitigation actions in natural gas producing and exporting countries.
Mr Mohamed Ali Zare from OPEC reviewed the latest developments in the UN Climate Change negotiation processes, while Mr Diego Balanza, Bolivia’s climate negotiator, talked about the priorities of developing countries for the COP 27.
Mr Ahmed Abdrabo, an energy and environment consultant to Egypt’s Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, shared a breakdown of activities and events of the Ministry on the sidelines of COP 27. Finally, Mr Mustafa Amer of the GECF, talked about the position of natural gas based on an analysis of the IPCC AR6 scenario explorer dataset.