We commit ourselves

We commit ourselves

Gérard Moutet*
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In 2015, in conjunction with COP21 in Paris, ten energy companies gathered in OGCI, the Oil & Gas Climate Initiative, launched their personal "call to action" against climate change. In the article signed by Gérard Moutet, taken from OIL 30 (link), the current chairman of the Executive Committee of the organization illustrates the motivations that led the major to stand in favor of the planet

We know that energy is a complex global issue, and there is no single solution that will resolve the fight against climate change while also supplying sufficient affordable energy to support the development of the world’s growing population. The climate science is clear: the world must reduce net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions substantially in order to have a chance of limiting the rise in global temperature to two degrees centigrade compared to pre-industrial levels. Innovation, technology, collaboration, flexibility, behavioral change and adequate policies will be the key factors of success. The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) has been built to serve as a recognized and constructive voice of the Oil and Gas sector in this effort. OGCI aims to catalyze practical action on climate change through collaboration and the sharing of best practices. OGCI companies are committed to responding to this global challenge, and to be part of its solution. They are also committed to reporting regularly and consistently on progress. OGCI seeks synergies with existing initiatives and organizations, such as the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA), the Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership (GGFR), and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), in order to build on, rather than duplicate, the work of others.

A combined effort to increase effectiveness

What makes the OGCI initiative especially powerful is that it is an agile and business-focused organization led by the chief executives of its member companies, who together form the Steering Committee of the initiative. Member companies come from different geographical regions, and encompass both IOCs and NOCs. The current members are as follows: BG Group, BP, Eni, Pemex, Reliance, Repsol, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Statoil and Total . Combined, they produce almost 27 million barrels of oil equivalent a day, or almost one fifth of global oil and gas production. Importantly, OGCI has a flexible and voluntary structure that allows individual member companies to collaborate on joint projects where they have shared interest. It also means companies are not obliged to participate in specific areas where their views on appropriate approaches differ greatly. For those reasons, OGCI is unique; it’s a much-needed, action-oriented initiative that allows the Oil and Gas sector to be an active participant in the collective fight against climate change. OGCI is a quite recent initiative. It was established following discussions held during the January 2014 World Economic Forum annual meeting, initially  between Eni, Saudi Aramco and Total, and was officially launched at the September 2014 UN Climate Summit.

An important first result

OGCI marked a major milestone on October 16th when the CEOs of its member companies had an open discussion with key high-level external stakeholders and climate experts to explain the work of OGCI, engage in a dialog, and receive feedback. In a joint declaration released on the same day, the CEOs expressed their collective support for an effective climate change agreement to be reached at COP21 in Paris. They confirmed that the OGCI member companies recognize the general ambition to keep the rise in average global air temperatures below 2°C, while acknowledging that the existing trend of the world’s net global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is not consistent with this ambition, and that additional efforts are needed. They expressed their support for strong and clear government policy frameworks, as well as their ambition to play their part and their commitment to report regularly and consistently. The same day, OGCI also issued its first report: "More energy, lower emission: Catalyzing practical action on climate change," which can be found on the OGCI website. It  outlines progress made by members in addressing climate change by improving operational efficiencies, lowering carbon resources, supporting innovation, and developing new technologies and business models. The report also provides global figures on GHG emissions, methane emissions, flaring, R&D spending, investment in renewables and support to start-ups in a coherent manner, with shared reporting methodologies. 

Towards a real energy transition

After 18 months of work, it is clear to me that OGCI represents an unprecedented collaborative attempt to accelerate and guide our efforts towards a low greenhouse gas future. OGCI companies have different histories, strategies, and focuses-this is true-but this variety contributes to the richness of the initiative. Our regular meetings and our joint works have enabled us to build greater levels of trust and understanding, and to move forward quickly in our thinking and engagement. The will to progress together and to openly discuss those questions is truly inspiring. It is clear that we share a common desire to engage and contribute to meeting the climate change challenge, and indeed, efforts of OGCI companies to face climate change challenges are not new. Many have been actively seeking to improve energy efficiency, reduce emissions and facilitate low carbon technologies. To give one example, member companies have globally reduced their GHG emissions by 20% since 2005. But OGCI will enable us to go one step further. We will now build on our initial success by amplifying our work,in order to make OGCI a reliable, credible, action-oriented initiative from the Oil & Gas sectors dedicated to solving the climate change and energy transition challenges.

 

*Gerard Moutet
He is Vice President Climate-Energy for the Total group, in charge of the GHG and Energy efficiency related subjects. He has 30 years of experience in the Oil and Gas industry, mainly in Exploration and Production, including geosciences, development, new business and general management. He has been working in France, Argentine, Norway, United Arab Emirate, and Egypt. Since 2006 he specialized in climate and energy related subjects. He is also strongly involved in the Oil & Gas Climate Initiative work and development, and has been elected chairman of the OGCI Executive Committee.