Held in Glasgow at the end of 2021, COP26 was the first opportunity since the signing of the Paris Agreement at COP21 for countries to update their pledges to reduce CO2 and methane emissions.
Over 200 countries signed the Glasgow Climate Pact, which consists of a range of agreed items, including strengthening efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions, build resilience to climate change and to provide the necessary finance for both.
Initial analysis of countries' updated pledges indicates that if they are met in full and on time, they will result in a temperature increase of between 1.8°C and 2°C. For the first time since the Paris Agreement was signed, the world may be on track to deliver its objective of limiting global warming to well below 2°C and as close to 1.5°C as possible.
In addition to the Glasgow Climate Pact, a range of initiatives were launched and commitments declared at COP26, including:
- The Global Methane Pledge - more than 100 countries and partners pledged to collectively reduce methane emissions to 30% below 2020 levels by 2030, which could avert 0.2°C of global warming
- The International Aviation Climate Ambition Coalition - which aims to reduce CO2 emissions from aviation to net-zero by 2050
- The Clydebank Declaration for green shipping corridors to establish six zero-emission maritime routes by 2025
- A Just Transition Declaration was signed by more than 30 countries which addresses the need to ensure that no one is left behind by the energy transition
Ipieca's role at COP events
Ipieca has attended every COP since the inaugural event held in Berlin in 1995. Our role is not to lobby but to listen to negotiations and share knowledge on technological developments through workshops and side events. We work with our members and partners to raise awareness of the COP outcomes and produce practical guidance and tools to support the industry contribute to achieving the COP objectives.
Strategic support for a net-zero future
In 2021, Ipieca launched a new vision, which builds upon our core competencies of environmental and social performance to also advance the industry's contribution to the energy transition and sustainable development. We have developed strategic pillars for climate, nature, people and sustainability in service of our new vision.
Continuing the work started in support of the Paris Agreement, our climate strategy is designed to support our members and the wider industry be a part of a net-zero future and keep 1.5°C within reach, with 33 Ipieca members having already published net-zero plans (correct at publication date).
Led by our Climate Group, which was established in 1988, Ipieca convenes climate experts from the oil, gas and alternative energy industry with those from IGOs, NGOs, academia and other industries. Together we develop and share good practice guidance and tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), enhance energy efficiency and support the sustainable scale up of energy transition enablers.
Reducing operational emissions
The industry can play its part in a net-zero future by producing the energy the world needs with less greenhouse emissions. Ipieca develops and shares practical guidance to reduce emissions across the production, refining and transportation of oil and gas.
Related Ipieca guidance
Accelerating action: an SDG Roadmap for the oil and gas industry - The Roadmap's climate impact pathways cover reducing emissions from operations, as well as policies and partnerships to support transformative technology, and innovation to drive low-carbon technology
The most economical method of reducing GHG emissions is to reduce energy consumed, with analysis from the IEA demonstrating that up to 40% of the emissions abatement required by the Paris Agreement could be delivered by energy efficiency.
The Ipieca-IOGP compendium of energy and GHG efficient technologies and practices (currently being updated) raises awareness and uptake of energy efficiency technologies and practices for use across the industry value chain.
Raising awareness of low-emissions pathways
Ipieca supports its members and industry to understand technologies and practices which can support them to lower their emissions through producing awareness briefs, hosting multistakeholder workshops, organizing peer to peer learning sessions and running webinars.
Related Ipieca resources
Zigzag to Zero? Positive pathways to Paris - an industry, investor and civil society roundtable
The role of hydrogen and CCUS in enabling a net zero carbon energy system webinar
Data and reporting
The collection of accurate data and transparency in CO2 and methane emissions reporting are essential to driving emissions reductions. The Ipieca-IOGP-API Sustainability reporting guidance for the oil and gas industry includes a climate and energy module. It provides guidance on how to measure and report on GHG and methane emissions, as well as climate governance, lower-carbon technology, energy use and flared gas.
Supporting the sustainable scale up of energy transition enablers
Ipieca is applying its environmental and social performance expertise to a whole range of energy transition enablers, helping to ensure these scale up sustainably.
Renewable energy will be a key part of the transition to a low-carbon future. An increasing amount of Ipieca members are investing in and powering their operations through renewable energy, with six Ipieca members aiming to produce a collective 200GW of renewable energy by 2030 (correct at publication date). In 2021, Ipieca launched an Alternative Energy Task Force which will develop and share environmental and social good practice guidance which can support the sustainable scale up of renewables such as wind, solar and biofuels. The Environmental and social good practice for the energy transition: A compendium of Ipieca good practices highlights Ipieca guidance and tools which can help renewable energy developers advance the environmental and social performance of their projects and operations.
Cleaner skies and sustainable shipping
Aviation and shipping are key economic drivers, however, they are major emitters of CO2.
Ipieca's Exploring low-emissions pathways for transport raises awareness of the wide range of technologies and solutions and the multiple stakeholders required to transform the transport sector in line with a net-zero future.
In 2021, Ipieca was granted International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) observer status; we are providing technical inputs to its sustainable and lower carbon aviation fuels works streams. We have long been an International Maritime Organization (IMO) observer and partner with the IMO on a range of initiatives. Our current focus is on supporting its analysis of life cycle GHG emissions of shipping fuels and the development of alternative lower carbon shipping fuels.
Accelerating a just transition
A just transition, in which the benefits of the energy transition are shared equitably among all, and the potential negative impacts are managed and mitigated, is key to the energy transition.
In 2021, Ipieca launched a Just Transition Task Force, which is working in close collaboration with wider industry, UN agencies, investors and other sectors to share knowledge and understanding in this area and guide companies on how to accelerate the just transition.
A holistic approach to the energy transition
With its climate, environmental, social performance and sustainability expertise and a membership making significant investments in alternative energy, decarbonization technologies and low-carbon mobility solutions, Ipieca is uniquely positioned to drive environmental and social good practice across the energy transition and support the industry's contribution to the Glasgow Climate Pact.