DUBAI: UAE government ministers have underlined the vital need for stronger investment in oil and gas resources to protect the global economy from the impact of geopolitical issues and effectively manage the energy transition of the future. They warned that divesting from energy sources that drive the global economy will lead to a systemic supply crunch that erodes economic growth.

Speaking at the opening of the Global Energy Forum, taking place today under the theme ‘The Geopolitics of Energy Transition’ as part of the World Government Summit (WGS2022) at Expo 2020 Dubai today, both Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, UAE's Special Envoy for Climate Change and Managing Director and Group CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), made a powerful case for the need for greater investment in oil and gas to protect against global energy disruption.

The Global Energy Forum is being organised by the Atlantic Council in collaboration with WGS2022, and moderated by Frederick Kempe, President and CEO, Atlantic Council.

Dr. Al Jaber said that the world is witnessing how sensitive energy markets are to geopolitical shocks, noting that the current volatility in oil prices is the result of a deeper underlying structural issue. Long-term underinvestment in oil and gas has left markets more exposed to risks of any kind and wherever they take place, he added.

Dr. Al Jaber explained that divesting from the energy sources that drive the global economy will lead to a systemic supply crunch that erodes economic growth.

The UAE is taking an approach that is pro-growth, pro-sustainability, pro-prosperity, and pro-climate, he further added, noting that the UAE is increasing investments in low-carbon and no-carbon energy sources.

We are expanding production capacity of the world’s least carbon-intensive oil to over 5 million barrels per day while also growing our renewables portfolio fivefold and growing natural gas capacity by 30 percent, Dr. Al Jaber said, in conclusion.

For his part, Al Mazrouei explained that increasing investment in oil and gas capacity was being undertaken in tandem with a full commitment to renewable energy and innovation.

He said, "We are currently promoting renewable energy in 70 countries, and are proud of the work that Masdar is doing in many parts of the world in this regard. Meanwhile, hydrogen has great potential, and we are one of the few countries with a clear roadmap for its utilisation. We are starting with blue hydrogen, as it is both available and affordable, but we are also collaborating in investing in the technology required to commercialise green hydrogen, which is the future.

"In the UAE, we are also committed to sustainable mobility options and creating choice for people in the future, be that hydrogen, electric power, or traditional combustion energy sources that are cost-effective and affordable."

From his side, Frederick Kempe, President and CEO in the Atlantic Council commended His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for the kind patronage of this global forum, and Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Teleworking Applications.