7 July 2021, 12-2 PM CET
Zoom video conference
The onset of the Paris Agreement on Climate has created a structurally different policy environment in the international energy sector, particularly in the EU. Climate-related issues, which rarely made media headlines only a decade ago, have now super-ceded security of supply as arguably the primary area of concern for European decision makers. Indeed, sustainability and environmental concerns dominate the energy policy landscape in Brussels, where the EU"s Green Deal is now the buzzword. Climate activism, even during times of Covid, continues to gain momentum and Brussels now seems intent to move the continent towards a state of (what has become dubbed as) "carbon neutrality". The Energy Union, the flagship initiative of the previous European Commission just a half decade ago, which was promoted to strengthen the EU internal energy market and bolster the security of supply, now seems merely a facet of European history.
The big question beckons, however, as to how the big energy companies, particularly the IOCs, are adapting themselves to the new environment. It appears to be the case that oil companies around the world are in the process of adapting their business models, be it in response to new legislation restricting carbon emissions, pressure from activist groups, or new opportunities in the renewable energy sector.
But what actions are the IOCs and the national champions putting in place to develop actual decarbonisation strategies? What steps are European energy companies taking in order to reach ambitious EU targets on reducing emissions and promoting environmental sustainability — an area where Brussels purports global leadership? While it appears to be the case that these companies are now seeing their future in much clearer shades of "green" than may have been the case in the past, it is somewhat less clear as to how obligations to reduce emissions will be transcended into actual business models. It may well be that in some cases, a trade off in terms of emission reduction with other sectors will emerge in order to reach national emission goals, but this is only one of many questions yet to be answered.
Recording of the meeting presentation:
Head of European Government Affairs
Technology Communications Manager, ADNOC
BREC Advisory Board member