① OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al Ghais accuses the International Energy Agency (IEA) of slandering the oil and gas industry. This is the latest climate policy conflict between the two major organizations; ② That is, the energy challenge facing us is huge and complex, and cannot be limited to a binary issue.
Financial News Agency, November 28 (Editor Niu Zhanlin) The conflict between the two major international energy organizations is becoming more and more intense, and it can even be said that it is tit-for-tat. On Monday local time, OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al Ghais accused the International Energy Agency (IEA) of slandering the oil and gas industry. This is the latest climate policy conflict between the two major organizations.
Al Ghais refers to a report released by the IEA last Thursday. According to the report, the fossil fuel industry must face a historic choice: whether to continue to accelerate the climate crisis or switch to clean energy as part of the solution.
In a statement, Al Ghais criticized: “This presents an extremely narrow framework for our current challenges, perhaps to easily downplay issues such as energy security, energy access, and energy affordability. It also unfairly accuses the fossil fuel industry of being behind the climate crisis.”
In recent years, OPEC and IEA have repeatedly clashed over issues such as long-term oil demand prospects and oil supply. The 28th session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) is about to begin this week, and climate issues have once again become a hot topic of contention.
The OPEC Secretary General said that the organization will attend the COP28 conference and participate in related negotiations. Emission reduction and energy transition, adaptation and loss damage, capital, technology, capacity building support, and the first global inventory of the Paris Agreement are all key issues of concern for all parties in the dialogue.
The IEA wrote in its recently released “World Energy Outlook 2023” that global demand for coal, oil and gas will peak within this decade. IEA Director Fatih Birol wrote in the report that the global transition to clean energy is unstoppable. It is not a question of 'if' but rather a question of 'how long' — the sooner the better for all of us, so investment in new fossil fuel supply projects must be stopped immediately.
In fact, OPEC dismisses this view. The agency describes such predictions as “dangerous,” saying they are often accompanied by calls to stop new oil and gas investments, which would jeopardize energy security. Al Ghais previously expressed optimism about future levels of oil demand and emphasized that cuts in investment in the oil and gas sector will challenge global energy security.
In last Thursday's report, the IEA also criticized carbon capture technology. The IEA believes that the oil and gas industry needs to abandon the illusion that carbon capture technology can solve emissions and actually invest in clean energy. “Carbon capture is not the solution. In our opinion, if carbon capture and storage technology could allow the oil and gas industry to maintain current oil and gas production trends while reducing emissions... this is pure delusion.”
Al Ghais responded on Monday saying that unfortunately, the IEA called technologies such as carbon capture, utilization, and storage a fantasy, but they are seen as part of the solution in the report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
He added, “The truth that needs to be told is simple and clear for those who are willing to see it. That is, the energy challenge facing us is huge and complex, and it cannot be limited to a binary issue.”
OPEC+, which consists of allies such as OPEC and Russia, decided last year that it would stop using IEA data when evaluating oil market conditions.