ABU DHABI: Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 President-Designate, today convened a special meeting of industry leaders from the oil & gas, cement, steel, aluminium, and heavy transportation sectors to work together to drive global decarbonisation efforts.

“The energy transition is underway – but decarbonisation will be faster if we all work together,” Dr. Al Jaber told participants in Abu Dhabi at the COP28 Changemakers’ Majlis: Fast-Tracking the Energy Transition. “Cross-sector collaboration will be indispensable.”

The Majlis was a pioneering gathering bringing together the biggest industries, energy producers, technology, finance and investment for the first time to collaborate on fast-tracking a just and orderly energy transition across both the supply and demand of energy.

As Dr. Al Jaber described to attendees, a “Majlis” is an Arabic term that means sitting room, or a place where people come together to discuss shared interests. A Majlis serves an important role both in the home and for business meetings in the UAE and the Arab world.

Taking place the day before the start of the 2023 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition Conference (ADIPEC 2023), the event was attended by H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; and John Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, and was moderated by Dr. Daniel Yergin, Vice Chairman, S&P Global.

US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry addressed the attendees, calling for action to eliminate methane pollution from the energy sector by the end of this decisive decade and urging additional ambition that recognises the urgency of the challenge and meets the moment.

Responding to the Global Stocktake, Dr. Al Jaber stated, “We know that we are not on track; we need to deliver a 43 percent emission reduction by 2030. I believe we can only keep 1.5 within reach if we are willing to collaborate.”

Dr. Al Jaber highlighted that the production of oil and gas, cement, steel and aluminum account for around a quarter of all global carbon emissions. These sectors “can collaborate to accelerate decarbonisation by working on infrastructure, technology, policy and finance together,” he said. “The world is watching and waiting for real, actionable progress across all sectors ─ and the energy and hard-to-abate industries have a critical role to play.”

The Majlis event included dedicated breakout sessions to develop and drive actionable solutions to the energy transition, focused on the themes of commercialising the hydrogen value chain; scaling carbon capture technologies; eliminating methane from energy; increasing renewables in grids; and biofuels as an enabler of decarbonisation.

Participants discussed how hydrogen holds the greatest promise for a fuel that will enable steel, cement and aluminum plants around the world to eliminate their greenhouse gas emissions but needs support to dramatically scale up.

On carbon capture and storage (CCS), they noted the growing consensus on the necessity of CCS to meet net zero targets and discussed necessary steps to create viable commercial models.

Discussing eliminating methane, there was an acknowledgement that 20 percent of anthropogenic methane emissions come from the oil and gas sector and determined action would form a significant contribution to global climate action.

To increase renewables in grids, participants spoke of how the ambitious growth targeted faced major challenges from finance, supply chain stresses, and the importance of grids, all of which would require concerted action.

On biofuels as an enabler of decarbonisation, they noted the importance of establishing biofuels as cost-competitive alternatives for air and road transit, particularly to hedge against disruptions in electrification.

Speaking at the Majlis, Dr. Al Jaber said, “Technology and finance are the key to getting us from where we are to where we need to be. And the people who can provide that technology are right here in this room.” Dr. Al Jaber continued, “We can find ways of commercialising hydrogen, increasing the efficiency of the electrical grid, speeding the elimination of methane, and increasing the availability of biofuels.”

The President-Designate concluded by calling on the energy industry to play a more active role in the energy transition.

“For years, the energy industry has been without a seat at the climate change table,” he told delegates. “But you can’t just ask for it. You need to earn it. And candidly, I don’t think the industry has yet done enough to earn that seat.”

The Changemakers Majlis was a part of the wider COP28 Presidency Action Agenda to fast-track a just and orderly energy transition by rapidly building the energy system of the future while decarbonising the system of today.

The COP28 Presidency is preparing further announcements on its Action Agenda to fast track the energy transition in the weeks ahead.

Moderating the session Dr. Daniel Yergin, Vice Chairman, S&P Global, said “This has proved to be a very significant dialogue. It demonstrates the oil and gas industry’s important and wide-ranging contribution to the climate table. Its span includes its depth of knowledge, engineering and scientific capabilities, technology and execution, mastery of global supply chains, as well as its ability to scale and deploy technology, including, crucially, in emerging markets.”

Commenting on the roundtable, the CEO of Uganda National Oil Company, Proscovia Nabbanja said, “In an era where sustainability is paramount, hard-to-abate industries are uniquely positioned. Grounded in strong research, technological advancements, and innovation, we can ride on this capability to deploy decarbonisation solutions at scale while meeting the customers' needs. As we gather at the Changemakers’ Majlis, we must recognise that together we have the potential to adapt and take charge in accelerating decarbonisation. Our collective efforts can pave the way for a greener, more sustainable future, showcasing the transformative power of collaboration and determination”.

The Chairman and CEO of Baker Hughes, Lorenzo Simonelli, said “As an energy technology company, Baker Hughes is committed to taking energy forward, making it safer, cleaner, and more efficient for people and the planet. Our participation at COP28 as an Associate Pathways Partner reflects our commitment to addressing climate change and building partnerships that drive energy security, sustainability and affordability. In 2019, we became one of the first companies in our industry to make a public commitment to reduce our operational emissions by 50 percent by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050. We strongly believe that solutions and technologies, in areas such as CCUS, hydrogen, emissions abatement, and digital, can play a significant role in driving a more sustainable future across industries, enabling us to reach our collective targets to tackle climate change.”

The CEO of Emirates Global Aluminium, Abdulnasser Bin Kalban said, “Aluminum is an essential material for decarbonisation economy-wide, as part of everything from electricity distribution infrastructure to mass transit systems to solar panels. To decarbonise aluminium production itself, we must work with other industries as many of the technical and commercial challenges are shared. COP28 is playing an important role in bringing industries together to collaborate in the interest of humanity’s future.”

ADIPEC 2023 is taking place from 2nd-5th October at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and is being held under the theme of “Decarbonising. Faster. Together.”