Minister of State for Energy Affairs and QatarEnergy President and CEO, HE Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said the world cannot solve its environmental and climate change problems without being realistic about the solution.

His remarks came during an opening panel discussion at the Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi, also participated by the United Arab Emirates Minister of Energy and Infrastructure HE Suhail Al-Mazrouei.

Minister Al-Kaabi highlighted some of the challenges that face stable energy markets and prices, including geopolitical tensions and turmoil, lack of investment in new energy sources and meeting the financial requirements for investments that will help achieve environmental ambitions. He said that making unachievable plans and promises will not take us across the finish line.

His Excellency also stressed that, so far, global net zero ambitions have not been supported with an actual plan beyond setting expectations by a certain date.

Oil and gas vs coal

Urging the need for fairness with regard to investments in oil and gas, Minister Al-Kaabi said it is very unfair for some in the West to say African countries should not invest in oil and gas and to be green when it was necessary for their economies and national growth, as well as for the oil-based solutions and everyday products they have to use and which renewables cannot produce or manufacture.

His Excellency stressed that natural gas is not a transition fuel but a destination fuel. He highlighted the need for immediate and effective action against burning coal, which is the most serious pollutant.

30% of the world’s electricity is generated by burning coal, which is being used (at) record levels today by the same countries which have called to stop coal burning. Still, we hear the calls demonizing oil and gas but not coal – the biggest polluter on the planet.

Speaking on the future of oil and gas and the impact of the fluctuating market, Minister Al-Kaabi said that prices are a factor of supply and demand. He said that last year, spikes in energy prices began well ahead of the Ukraine crisis. This was clearly due to the lack of supply driven by the lack of investments, which shied away as a result of a bigger push for green that did not have a realistic plan for an effective transition.

As for 2023, he said that the year started with lower prices because of the warmer weather in Europe, but the challenge is when the time comes to replenish their storage capacities. He said that there won’t be any new gas volumes coming into the markets for another two to four years, which can be a cause for future volatility.

Qatar’s effort to meet global demand

Minister Al-Kaabi also gave an overview of Qatar’s efforts to help meet global demand.

Today, we are producing 77 million tonnes per annum of LNG to which we will add another 65 million in new gas production projects.

He also shared the country’s efforts continue to bring more gas to the market to help humanity with its energy needs, especially as there remain at least one billion people deprived of basic electricity.

Minister Al-Kaabi concluded his remarks by urging governments and legislators to promote additional gas investments to encourage and promote the development of future supplies.

About the event

The Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum convenes the world’s top energy and foreign policy decision-makers annually to set the global energy agenda for the year ahead and examine the longer-term geopolitical and geo-economic implications of the changing energy system.

Learn more about it here.

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