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OAPEC Secretary General’s Speech Kuwait International Health, Safety, and Environment Conference and Exhibition 2017


OAPEC Secretary General’s Speech

Kuwait International Health, Safety, and Environment Conference and Exhibition 2017

Kuwait, 15-16 February 2017


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful


HE Essam Al Marzouq, Minister of Oil, Electricity, and Water

HE Mohammed Al Ramahi, Minister of Oil and Gas in Oman

HE Nizar Al Adsani, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC)

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,


Asslamu Alaykoum,

I would like first to extend my sincerest thanks and appreciation to Kuwait Petroleum Corporation for their kind invitation to participate in this important conference. I would also like to thank the organisers for their excellent preparations and warm welcome.

Distinguished guests,   

I would like to take this opportunity to talk briefly about the latest outcomes of the UNFCCC COP21 and COP22 held in Paris and Marrakech respectively.

As we all know, Arab oil and gas producing and exporting countries enjoy a special status on the global petroleum scene, as they account for the largest share of the world’s oil and gas proven reserves, which were about 56% and 27.7% respectively by the end of 2016. It is worth noting that the various stages of the oil industry require great efforts by oil producing and exporting countries in order to face the challenges related to compelling international environmental standards throughout these stages: from exploration and drilling through production and manufacturing to exportation and consumption. The petroleum industry, like other industries, should take into consideration all issues that contribute to maintaining a clean environment, free of pollutants, to keep the workers in this field healthy and safe.

As for the oil industry, the use of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology in many Arab countries played a big role in facing climate change impacts, which reduced the quantities of carbon emitted into the air. Examples of using this technology can be found in the giant Ain Saleh project in Algeria and the iron industries project in Abu Dhabi.

OAPEC, in collaboration with the Saudi Energy, Industry, and Mineral Resources Ministry, organized a seminar on the sidelines of COP21 and COP22 on creating added value from CO2 emissions in order to invest the CCS technology in the hydrocarbons industry.

Distinguished audience,

With regard to the latest developments on the UNFCCC and its legal tools, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change signed in Paris in December 2015 during the COP21 aimed at keeping the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, while maintaining the efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C.

After the agreement entered into force officially in November 2016, 195 countries of the parties committed to submit their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to cut emissions according to the capabilities and responsibilities of each individual country. Every country commits to a mechanism to review their contributions every five years. These contributions are kept in a public record at the UNFCCC Secretariat in Bonn, Germany.  

The Agreement also stipulates that when countries submit their contributions, they should present other required data on transparency. Also, when calculating their NDC-related emissions, integrity and accuracy should be observed. Calculations should be complete, comparable, and coherent in line with the Agreement requirements, resolutions and guidelines. Developed countries should provide funding to developing countries to help with mitigation and adaptation to climate change impacts. International commitment to provide a $100 billion per annum financial support to developing countries continues until 2025.

The agreement has also stressed the importance of supporting technological advancement, knowledge transfer to developing countries and helping them build their capabilities, systems, environmental education, while encouraging the participation of the public. Therefore, countries need to put in place their long-run development strategies on low greenhouse gases and review their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions(INDCs) in 2018. They should declare their intentions in cutting emissions within their submitted INDCs. INDCs include two types of goals; the first is related to Mitigation, on which there are contrasting stances. There other type is related to Adaptation, in order to activate the Paris Agreement in a stronger and wider way through supporting the expansion of renewables technologies, energy efficiency, and enhancing fuel consumption efficiency measures.

During the recent COP22 held in Marrakech, Morocco, in November 2016, participating Heads of States and delegations announced moving to the pledge execution stage and working for climate, sustainable development, poverty eradication, food security, and funding, and looking for solutions before 2020 while taking into consideration the needs and special conditions of the developing and least developed countries.  

In this context, OAPEC member countries stressed their international commitment by signing the Paris Agreement. They are in the process of endorsing it. We reiterate here the importance of investing in research and development to limit the impact on environment; which is a basic requirement to achieve the Paris Agreement goals.

Thank you for your attention.

Asslamu Alaykoum.