Engineer Tarek El Molla, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, participated, via video conference, in the first coordination meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum to prepare for the COP27 global climate summit, which Egypt will host in Sharm El Sheikh next November.
During his opening speech to the meeting, the minister stressed that the energy sectors around the world faced great challenges in recent years, with the Corona pandemic causing great fluctuations in energy markets, noting that the unprecedented geopolitical challenges in energy security cause major disruptions to global energy supplies.
Al-Molla added that these global events have reinforced the importance and role of natural gas in the global energy mix in the medium and long term, and securing gas supplies has become a source of concern for many countries, especially as the world will continue to consume energy to support development and sustainability efforts, stressing the common goal of gas-exporting countries represented in securing Gas sources in safe ways and in ways that preserve the environment and with the least possible impact on the climate through technologies for capturing and storing carbon and benefiting from it and reducing methane emissions.
The minister pointed out that in light of the current challenges in energy security, especially sustainability and providing it at reasonable prices, the role of natural gas remains important and vital in the energy transition, as it is the cleanest fossil fuel and an essential source of clean, reliable and affordable energy for the world, stressing that Egypt is implementing a strategy that relies on gas in this regard. Indeed, natural gas has become the dominant fuel in many industries and sectors in Egypt, and that Egypt succeeded in achieving self-sufficiency in natural gas in 2018 and returning to exporting liquefied gas, which resulted in taking great steps in expanding the uses of gas in the local market, where it reached The number of homes to which gas was connected reached more than 13 million housing units, and the number of cars converted to work with compressed natural gas reached 500,000.
El Molla added that these challenges emphasized the importance of regional cooperation to form new consensus and develop new solutions and partnerships, which have become very important to overcome these challenges. Integration with neighboring countries in strengthening its role as a regional center for trading and trading gas and oil, and continuing to play an important role as a major trading partner for the supply of gas to European markets.
The minister pointed out that, in less than two months, Egypt will host the COP27 global climate summit on behalf of the African continent, and it will express the voices of African countries in addition to highlighting their rights and aspirations for sustainable and comprehensive economic and social development and prosperity for all, noting that although African countries are not Responsible for the climate change crisis, yet it faces its most negative effects.
But he stressed that the brown continent is a model for serious steps in the climate issue within the limits of its capabilities and the support it receives. He stressed that African countries enjoy great natural resources and huge potentials in the field of renewable energy, but they are lagging behind in economic development and that the role of gas and oil remains vital in Africa, especially that energy Renewables alone will not be sufficient to meet the continent’s growing energy needs, pointing out that the most important challenges facing African countries are the lack of financing and modern environmentally friendly technologies on their way to meet development ambitions and support in the energy transition towards reducing carbon.
Al-Mulla stressed that the climate summit comes at an important time for the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, as it is a leading international alliance of 19 producing countries representing 70% of the proven gas reserves and the gas industry in general, to confirm commitment to reducing emissions and support international efforts to confront climate changes, where energy security can keep pace. With sustainability, pointing out that Egypt’s vision, as the chair of the next climate summit, is to call for moving from the negotiation and planning stage to moving quickly towards integrated, timely and actual implementation on the ground, and that as part of this vision focusing on integration and implementation, the World Climate Summit will dedicate for the first time one day To reduce carbon emissions to review the local, regional and international efforts and successes in the field of emissions reduction in the oil and gas sector and other sectors.
The minister also stressed that Egypt is leading efforts to prepare for an energy initiative that focuses on a just and energy transition in Africa, stressing the importance of cooperation between all concerned parties, including governments, the private sector, and international institutions, as it is a key factor in advancing joint efforts towards reducing emissions in the oil and gas industry. Its continuous support for fruitful dialogue and international coordination to provide technologies, financing and training programs for a balanced, equitable and accessible energy transition, especially in Africa.
For his part, Engineer Mohamed Hamel, Secretary-General of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, stressed in his speech that the COP27 climate summit will be held at an important time when the world is suffering from many challenges, and it is an opportunity for the African continent to achieve development and keep pace with the energy transition, noting that it will witness the confirmation of the role of gas. Bio-natural as a transitional fuel and its importance in achieving sustainable development goals.