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IPIECA at COP-21: Low emissions pathways and the role of oil and gas

LEP Cop 21

IPIECA, as an official observer, has engaged throughout COP-21 (21st Conference of the Parties) with side-events and an exhibit, as well as attending other events and monitoring the negotiating sessons. The Paris Puzzle: The pathway to a low-emissions future was the focus of our communications throughout the COP, with messages being shared by our Secretariat and members in attendance.

IPIECA’s principal event took place on Friday 4 December, introduced by Brian Sullivan, IPIECA Executive Director. Liz Rogers, IPIECA Vice Chair and Vice President of Environment, Social Responsibility and HSSE Compliance at BP, presented the Paris Puzzle to a room full of delegates and media, as well as an online community viewing the event through webcast. David Hone, Chief Climate Change Advisor with Shell, moderated comments from our impressive line-up of panellists on the Paris Puzzle, and the role of oil and gas more widely.

Mark Radka, Head of Energy, Climate and Technology at UNEP, addressed the importance of sustainable energy for all, noting it goes deeper than just power, as it relates to lighting, heating and communications. He called on the industry to work more on energy efficiency and CCS.

Jean-François Gagné, Head of Energy Technology Policy at IEA, followed by focusing on energy technology pathways, noting that scale is a challenge and stressing the importance of making the right decisions today about the technologies needed in the future and the need for supporting policies and frameworks.

Margaret Mistry, Head of Sustainability Communications at Statoil, and Gérard Moutet, Vice President Climate-Energy at Total, provided industry perspectives. Margaret focused on the importance of speaking the same language and setting industry goals, including on efficiency, methane, flaring and renewables. Gérard identified that the oil and gas industry is well positioned to play a part in making the transition required due to its understanding of energy markets, its global experience, capacity for R&D, and financial capability.

Opening panel comments were concluded by Elliot Diringer, Executive Vice President of the C2ES. He emphasised the importance of industry collaboration with broader stakeholders as well as deeper engagement on policy specifics and communicating how investments and business models might evolve. He highlighted growing threats to the industry of allowing others to portray a negative industry view, in the absence of oil and gas expanding on their vision for a low-carbon transition.

The floor was opened up, with insightful questions from the room as well as from online participants. Speakers were probed further on topics including climate finance, unburnable carbon and stranded assets, CCS, carbon pricing, international policy and methane leakage. The evening proved to be an insightful and open discussion about a low-emissions future and the role of oil and gas.

IPIECA’s dissemination of The Paris Puzzle continued throughout the COP. Rob Siveter, Senior Manager for Climate Change at IPIECA, participated in a panel on Saturday 5 December, on Pathways to Sustainable Mobility. He presented Paris Puzzle messages from Managing our emissions: Energy conservation and beyond.

For over 20 years IPIECA has engaged in the various UN fora on climate change and actively participate in UNFCCC meetings. Throughout COP-21 and beyond, IPIECA renews its efforts to engage with stakeholders to make progress in meeting this complex challenge.

Please visit The Paris Puzzle page on our website for more information.

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