Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak (L) and Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud attend a meeting as part of the 24th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2021) at the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Center.
Donat Sorokin | TASS | Getty Images
LONDON – Two of the world’s largest oil-producing countries plan to defy recommendations by the International Energy Agency and continue to invest in oil and gas, and reject calls to drastically reduce fossil fuel use despite a worsening climate crisis.
It comes at a time when policymakers are under tremendous pressure to deliver on the pledges made under the Paris Agreement, a landmark agreement widely recognized as extremely important to avoiding the most devastating effects of climate change.
Almost 200 countries, including Russia and Saudi Arabia, ratified the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 and agreed to limit the temperature rise on the planet to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The agreement calls for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Notably, last month the world’s leading energy advisor issued its sharpest warning to date about global fossil fuel consumption, saying that the exploitation and development of new oil and gas fields must stop this year if the world is net-zero by the middle of the year. Emissions want to reach century.
In a speech at the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg on Thursday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said the IEA had allegedly come to its conclusions “through reverse calculations” on how to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
The IEA was not immediately available to make a request for comment. Of course, the leading global watchdog believes that halting developments in oil, gas and coal is fundamental to achieving the internationally agreed goal of net zero emissions.
“In my opinion, this is a simplistic approach. It is also unrealistic,” Novak told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble, according to a translation.
“There is no doubt that we need to move towards green energy and the green agenda as the demand is in society, but we need to be clear about what resources can be used to do this, who will pay for it, which Technologies “and opportunities that are available to us to solve outstanding problems,” he added.
A Surgutneftegas worker near Pumpjacks in the Surgut region of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Region – Yugra, in the West Siberian oil basin.
Alexei Andronov | TASS via Getty Images
His comments come shortly after Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman joked about the IEA’s report at an online press conference earlier this week.
“It’s a sequel to La La Land. Why should I take it seriously?” That’s what Abdulaziz said, according to Reuters.
His reaction to the report came shortly after OPEC and non-OPEC partners – an energy alliance sometimes referred to as OPEC + – agreed to gradually ease production cuts over the coming months amid a rebound in oil prices.
Saudi Arabia “produces low cost oil and gas and produces renewable energy. I urge the world to accept this as a reality: that we will be winners in all of these activities, ”he added.
Speaking to CNBC on Thursday, Russian Novak said Saudi Arabia’s Abdulaziz had reaffirmed Riyadh’s pledge to invest in oil earlier in the day at a SPIEF panel.
Novak said it was Moscow’s intention to do the same.
“I can assure you that the Russian Federation, its plans, its strategy [is to] continue to invest in both oil and gas and coal. But we are also investing in renewable energies, in hydrogen, in electric cars and electric charging stations, so that we can see the next decade with a mix of renewable and fossil fuels, ”said Novak.