COP27’s thematic day, on Friday, was dedicated to Decarbonization and called for urgent action to reduce emissions across industry with a specific focus on the most carbon intensive sectors including steel, oil, gas, and fertilizers. The agenda featured several sessions that launched initiatives including the Sharm El Sheikh Methane Reduction Roadmap and East Mediterranean Gas Forum decarbonization initiative.
“The climate crisis is existential, overriding and ever present and we need to look at every piece of the puzzle, including the decarbonization of the industrial sectors that underpin the global economy,” said COP27 President H.E. Sameh Shoukry, commenting on Decarbonization Day. “Today’s activities provided a significant opportunity to discuss critical plans and policies needed to reduce carbon footprints, particularly in hard-to-abate sectors. We hope the conversations today help facilitate the much-needed transition to and low carbon economy”.
“The Decarbonization Challenge” started the day’s agenda and included remarks by John Kerry, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate; H.E. Tarek El Molla, Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources; H.E. Ahmed Samir, Egypt’s Minister of Trade and Industry; and Gerd Müller, Director-General UNIDO.
Industry sessions and announcements throughout Decarbonization Day included advancing the Global Methane Pledge wherein the Sharm El-Sheikh Methane Roadmap was presented as a comprehensive guidance for countries to reduce emissions. It emphasized a short-term focus that called for more action through methane emissions survey, awareness campaign, detection and rapid response programme and low capital project implementation
Also on the day, the United States announced the launch of a new initiative to support Egypt in deploying 10GW of new wind and solar energy while decommissioning 5GW of inefficient natural gas generated plants. The panels included ‘Accelerating the Way Towards Decarbonizing the Steel Industry’ that encouraged investors to support new technologies by highlighting transformation success stories from Sweden and Egypt.
Egypt and Belgium, the co-sponsors of the Global Renewable Hydrogen Forum, held a technical panel discussion where speakers representing the main partners (IRENA, UNIDO, The Hydrogen Council & GCF) exchanged views on the importance to have a global stake-holder forum that would serve as a platform to accelerate the development and deployment of renewable hydrogen, as well as identify the best practices and establish cross-border trade and corridors. The session focused on the opportunities that the forum will provide towards expanding in renewable hydrogen and its local and global application.
A coalition of leading climate investment of $500 million over the next three years to accelerate a just and equitable energy transition in low and middle income countries The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it will expand its 2021 methane rule so that it requires drillers to find and plug leaks at all of the country’s 1 million well sites and reduce methane from the oil and gas industry by 87% below 2005 levels.
From Commitments to Action
The Oil & Gas Industry’s Decarbonization Journey, wherein Egypt launched its Private Public Sector Coalition with Bechtel with a program that aims to decarbonize existing oil and gas facilities across Egypt. Egypt has already instigated 126 projects in energy efficiency projects alone and has invested 2.4 billion USD in total decarbonization projects. These projects are saving 7 million tons of CO2 emissions each year. There were also discussions around how to move towards a ‘Decarbonized Fertilizers Industry’ with industry experts, technology, and financial institutions. The need is to come together to develop green fertilizers necessary to sustain low carbon, affordable and secure agriculture necessary especially in developing countries.
The Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization launched an initiative to mitigate the threats posed by climate change on world heritage sites and highlighted the need to enhance crisis management and safeguard ecosystems. Accelerating Oil & Gas Decarbonization launched the East Mediterranean Gas Forum regional decarbonization Initiative. Also ‘Advancing Efforts in Decarbonizing Cement’ highlighted the solutions needed for a zero-carbon industry through new technologies such as carbon capture usage and storage, alternative fuels, and green cement.