HOUSTON — The governments of Canada, Norway, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United States, collectively representing 40 percent of global oil and gas production, united at CERAWeek in Houston to formally launch the Net-Zero Producers Forum, a cooperative effort to develop pathways to net-zero emissions for the global oil and gas sector, a crucial mission to reduce emissions as soon as possible. At the Ministerial meeting, the members also launched a working group to share best practices around the development and deployment of methane reduction technologies.
“CATF welcomes the formation of the Net-Zero Producers Forum, an important initiative in the global decarbonization effort,” said Kurt Waltzer, Managing Director at Clean Air Task Force (CATF). “Unabated oil and gas are the largest source of planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions and the largest source of industrial methane emissions, but supply 60 percent of the world’s energy. Moreover, we will need more energy, not less, to alleviate energy poverty and drive economic development around the world. In order to maximize our chance of successfully limiting global warming, we must reconcile these challenges by developing pathways to net-zero emissions for the world’s largest energy producers, and the Net-Zero Producers Forum has taken an important step toward doing just that. To be most effective, the Net-Zero Producers Forum will need to advance technologies that reduce methane emissions from oil and gas production, commercialize CO2 storage and deliver zero-carbon fuels.”
The Net-Zero Producers Forum also provides an innovative platform for energy producing countries to work together to develop emission reduction strategies, including those in Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
“Two thirds of global oil and gas reserves are held by national oil companies, requiring an innovative and non-traditional approach to advancing decarbonization and zero-carbon fuels production,” said Olivia Azadegan, Commercialization and Policy Manager, Middle East and North Africa. “The Net-Zero Producers Forum helps advance the decarbonization conversation with national oil companies and can work with producing countries around the world to advance technologies and markets that lead the global transition to cleaner fuels and decarbonize the full hydrocarbon value chain.”
Key areas of focus CATF recommends the Net-Zero Producers Forum should include to achieve its missions:
1. Reducing methane emissions as the cornerstone of net-zero emissions production.
Independently verified, near-zero methane emission rates from oil and gas production is essential and must be step one for the governments engaged in the Net-Zero Producers Forum.
“As the largest industrial emitter of methane, the oil and gas sector is fueling climate change despite readily available low-cost solutions. The sector must address its methane emissions as a first step toward decarbonization,” said Jonathan Banks, International Director, Methane at CATF. “We’re pleased to see the Net-Zero Producers Forum launch a working group focused on best practices for the development and deployment of methane reduction technologies. We urge oil and gas-producing nations to move from the working group towards implementing policies and strategies to address their methane emissions, including joining the Global Methane Pledge, adopting industry best practices to limit methane emissions, and by limiting greenhouse gas emissions related to fuel production and transport.”
2. Pooling technical and financial resources to develop an international carbon dioxide storage market.
Carbon capture, transport, and storage is a linchpin of net-zero production and zero-carbon fuels production, and nearly all pathways to net-zero emissions require the rapid expansion of carbon management technology and infrastructure.
“The Net-Zero Producers forum has the ability to advance a global carbon dioxide storage market,” said Lee Beck, International Director, Carbon Capture at CATF. “Member countries currently have more than 100 collective carbon management projects in operation or under development, including multiple landmark first-mover CO2 storage value chains, such as the Northern Lights Project and the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line. These countries have unparalleled public and private sector expertise and should be poised to pool technical and financial resources to develop an international CO2 storage market, commercializing carbon capture and storage and direct air capture technologies.”
3. Deploying multiple technologies to deliver zero-carbon fuels.
Hydrogen, together with renewable fuels and electrification, has a significant role to play in global decarbonization. To reach net-zero emissions, the IEA predicts that global hydrogen use will need to increase from the 90 million tonnes per year used today to more than 530 million per year by 2050. Oil and gas producers can help meet part of this demand by advancing the technologies needed to produce hydrogen responsibly, including hydrogen reformed from fossil fuels with methane abatement and carbon capture, hydrogen produced through electrolysis and zero-carbon energy sources, and emissions-free carbon-based fuels from direct air capture.
“The Net-Zero Producers Forum can play an important role in accelerating the commercialization, deployment and adoption of technologies to help deliver zero-carbon fuels like hydrogen and ammonia, which will play an integral role in the global transition to net-zero emissions,” said Magnolia Tovar, Zero-Carbon Fuels Policy Director, Europe at CATF. “The Forum’s members could work together to share learnings and work toward a transparent and verifiable hydrogen certification scheme for the development of the global market for zero-carbon fuels.”
Troy Shaheen, Communications Director, U.S., Clean Air Task Force, [email protected], +1 845-750-1189
About Clean Air Task Force
Clean Air Task Force (CATF) is a global nonprofit organization working to safeguard against the worst impacts of climate change by catalyzing the rapid development and deployment of low-carbon energy and other climate-protecting technologies. With 25 years of internationally recognized expertise on climate policy and a fierce commitment to exploring all potential solutions, CATF is a pragmatic, non-ideological advocacy group with the bold ideas needed to address climate change. CATF has offices in Boston, Washington D.C., and Brussels, with staff working virtually around the world.