IPIECA Identifies Elements and Enablers of Low-Emissions Pathways

Meeting the challenge of climate change requires worldwide action from all sectors of society. Throughout this transition, oil and gas will have a role to play within the mix of energy sources to meet the need for affordable and clean energy products and services.

IPIECA, the global oil and gas industry association for advancing environmental and social performance, has identified a list of common elements and enablers of future pathways that most projected low-emissions pathways shared. The resulting paper considers the near- and long-term aims of the Paris Agreement, along with the challenges to address climate change while meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Further to this, the current energy system is explored in order to provide a basis to evaluate the common elements of the multiple pathways to a low-emissions future.

The three common elements of an energy system transition are improving efficiency, reducing emissions from the power generation, and deploying alternative low-emission options in end-use sectors. The common enablers of a low-emissions pathways identified are collaboration, effective policy, and the availability of finance. This paper explores in detail these elements and examines key technologies to support this transition. The role of the oil and gas industry in meeting the long-terms aims of the Paris Agreement is also outlined. Furthermore, it addresses the challenges on addressing climate change in the context of the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals and provides a perspective on the role of the oil and gas industry as enablers of pathways to meet a low-emissions future.

In 2015, IPIECA issued a series of publications to examine the challenges and opportunities of the transition to a low-emissions future and explored the role of the oil and gas industry as part of the climate change solution. Then, just 3 months after the Paris Agreement, a workshop was convened where a group of experts from different sectors discussed the ambitions, implications, and future actions of the agreement highlighting experts’ views from outside the oil and gas industry. Moreover, this work is one of a series of activities conducted by the association’s members to promote discussion between its members and constructive dialogue with stakeholders.

This paper presents the challenges of addressing climate change in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Then, it explores pathways to a low-emissions future and key technologies to achieve the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. It also explores the key enablers to reach a low-emissions world. Finally, it illustrates a potential role for the oil and gas industry in a low-emissions future.

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