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IEA becoming Impediment To Inclusive, Successful Energy Transition -APPO

By Saidu Abubakar

As the world gathers in Dubai from this weekend for COP28, the signals coming from some key stakeholders in the climate discourse is very worrying, APPO’s Secretary General, Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim, expressing the organisation’s position has said.

He noted that “While the world has come to accept the need for energy transition since the Paris Agreement of 2015, and all parties are yearly churning out NDCs that aim to achieve the goal of the Paris Agreement, some powerful stakeholders in the climate discourse are bent on herding the world into toeing their line of reasoning by hook or by crook.

“The COPs are designed to be platforms for honest, open and fact-based discussions among all parties to the Conference. It is premised on the belief that when parties have open, honest and fact-based discussions and they agree on targets in a voluntary manner, the likelihood of meeting those targets are very high”.

Unfortunately, he added, “as we approach COP28, the actions and utterances of some powerful stakeholders who claim to want the success of the energy transition, are far from honest, open or fact-based. These stakeholders have allowed their blind pursuit of a dogma, the quest for a narrow energy security, to color the way they see everything in the climate discourse. They have become unreasonable, unaccommodating, dishonest and hysterical in their discourse on climate change.

“They are not prepared to look at any option that, in their opinion, shall detract from their aggressive pursuit of their perceived energy security, even if it is at the expense of the billions of people living in energy poverty in other parts of the world. They are not interested in looking at other solutions to the climate challenge, other than phasing out oil and gas. They relish painting a doomsday picture of the oil and gas industry, an industry on whose back they rode to become what they are today, and in so doing deliberately distorting scientific facts.

The latest Report of the IEA, according to the APPO scribe, for example, describes COP28 as the “moment of truth’’ for the oil and gas industry. According to the Report, global oil demand shall peak by 2030 and demand shall fall by 45% by 2050. “Furthermore, the report describes CCUS and other CDR technologies for emissions reduction as illusions.

The problem with the IEA is that it is unable to come to terms with the global reality for phasing down oil and gas. And the more this reality stares the IEA on the face the more hysterical it becomes to the point that IEA’s projections have lost the credibility that they used to have. Only a couple of years ago, IEA posited that “reaching net zero will be virtually impossible without CCUS.’’ It further argued that “CCUS will need to form a key pillar of efforts to put the world on the path to a net-zero emissions.’’

He said that world heeded that advice and started making progress in that front. The gradual success being recorded along that line has now jolted the IEA into abandoning any pretense to objectivity and scientific analyses. It is high time that IEA admitted that itis pursuing an ideological agenda. That admission will earn for it some respectability.

“For APPO and other oil and gas producing countries, and for the majority of the global population living in energy poverty, CCUS, CDR and other technologies are not illusions. We are aware of the efforts to kill their development by those who are determined to end oil and gas use, not because of environmental concerns but because they believe that pursuit of narrow energy security for their countries takes precedence over energy accessibility to the over 1.2 billion poor people of the world who have no access to energy.

“The IEA and other institutions, blinded by dogma, would not want other options for remedying emissions put on the table. They do not want the world to discuss how to handle the legacy emissions that are largely responsible for today’s climate challenge. These legacy emissions were mostly released by those who fund the IEA. This is not surprising as he who pays the piper dictates the tune.

IEA’s targeted accusation of NOCs is a cheap blackmail which aims to drive a wedge between NOCs and IOCs. It will not succeed. It is high time the IEA stopped all pretenses to objectivity, Dr. Farouk warned.