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The sector has a fundamental role to play in transforming the energy system, which will also support other sectors to reduce emissions. Oil and gas currently provide nearly 55 % of the world’s energy supply and as the world’s population continues to grow, rising prosperity will increase energy demand, particularly in developing countries. Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all is essential for economic growth, employment, education, poverty reduction and global health.

The oil and gas sector is a global USD$3.2 trillion industry, contributing substantial tax and other types of revenue to governments and directly employing over 4.5 million people. The fuels, products and services provided by the sector underpin everyday modern society by powering industry, generating energy for heat and electricity, and producing fuel for transport. Refined oil is also used to manufacture products, materials and chemicals, including plastics, medical equipment, clothing and personal care products. The sector develops advanced technologies and products through investment in research and development and encourages local content and entrepreneurship with associated capacity building benefits.

The energy, products and services that are needed to enable sustainable lifestyles can help lift billions out of poverty – but progress must be made in a way which supports the aims of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda. By leveraging its global footprint, deep technical resources and diverse skills, the oil and gas sector can make a significant contribution to the SDGs.

Sustainable energy has been described by UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed as the ‘golden thread’ that links most of the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda pledge to leave no one behind.

IPIECA members have a proven track record of managing the impacts of their operations by emphasising environmental protection, health and safety, and human rights. Many companies have committed significant resources and efforts to advancing sustainable development as a matter of business practice and are also introducing standards and practices that, in some locations, go well beyond regulatory requirements. IPIECA has been supporting the industry to advance the sector’s environmental and social performance since its establishment in 1974 (see IPIECA milestones below).