We need to explore all options to curb emissions: Saudi Energy Minister

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Salman and Alexander Novak
OPEC's Chairman Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Energy and Co-Chair Alexander Novak, Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation.

Speaking at the virtual Singapore Energy Summit event, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman stressed the need to explore all possible options to decrease greenhouse gas emissions in the fight against climate change. 

Remarking the urge to get rid of oil and gas as “far-fetched and unrealistic”, the Saudi energy minister asserted to “not focus on the fuel of choice but rather how we can mitigate and adapt to these realities without showing any preferences.”

Prince Abdulaziz welcomed technologies that would allow the Kingdom, with the biggest hydrocarbon reserves in the world to make full use of its resources. He cited Saudi Arabia’s eagerness in building solar power plants to spare oil and gas for exports.

The Saudi energy minister also highlighted the Climate Change Economics (CCE) model endorsed at the G20 energy ministerial meeting stating that the model “provides an inclusive approach to focus mindsets on reducing emissions which contribute to climate change.”

Speaking on how OPEC+ has ensured high compliance with production quotas, Prince Abdulaziz said that “Engaging people as equal, ensuring that people do understand that the lack of conformity and lack of commitment would undermine … the credibility of this agreement to the market.”

“Therefore the market, instead of rewarding us, it would actually penalize, and the more it penalizes, the less the others who are in conformity with it would see the point of continuing control, and then all of this will cascade down to nothing,” the minister answered.

Sharing his observation on the global oil market, Prince Abdulaziz stated that “The fear now is for a re-occurrence of a second wave.” However, he also expressed optimism that “everybody has learned harsh and tough lessons of attending to the first wave”.

“What we need to do is to continue working, attending and improving the world economy and local economies yet ensuring that we will abide by preventive measures,” Prince Abdulaziz concluded.