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Too Early To Say No To Oil and Gas – Total

The head of Total Energies has said the current market disruptions have reinforced the necessity of dialogue on a global basis about the energy transition. 

Patrick Pouyanné, the Total Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, in a statement said that, with the increased penetration of renewables globally, natural gas keeps a key role in the energy transition to ensure firm power, in addition to pushing out coal in all sectors of final demand.

The French energy giant on Tuesday released its Energy Outlook 2022 document noting that investments in new oil and gas developments is required until at least the mid-2030s. It further observes that the current high prices have put energy efficiency at the top of the energy policy agenda in many oil producing countries.

Researchers say the current crisis should be an opportunity to increase and anchor energy saving and efficiency measures as they are the fundamental basis of any scenario to reach the Paris Agreement objectives. 

Total Energies Outlook 2022 released ahead of the forthcoming UN Climate Change Conference or COP 27 seems to agree with Uganda and the Africa Group’s position against calls for an end to natural gas part of the energy transition. 

In July, a technical committee of the African Union adopted “The African Common Position on Energy Access and Just Transition” 

At the peak of the war in Ukraine, the European Union Commission also adopted a law endorsing fossil gas or natural gas as a “transition fuel”. But as the world heads to COP27 in Egypt there is a feeling that no new oil and gas projects should be invested in.

The European Parliament last week adopted a resolution calling for a delay in the planned construction of the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) and the upstream oil projects under the Lake Albert Development project.

While the EU Parliament claimed there were human rights abuses related to EACOP, some have suggested that the broader resolution was aimed at TotalEnergies which has a 62-percent stake in EACOP and is the developer of the Tilenga project where hundreds of wells will be sunk to get oil out of the ground.

Total Energies Outlook 2022 says investment in new oil and gas developments is required until at least the mid-2030s to satisfy customer demand, even in below 2°C scenarios.

According to the outlook, investment in low carbon power must double by 2030 to reach 1.5 Trillion US Dollars per year. The African group through the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has observed that the continent is not mobilizing enough investments at the domestic and international levels to accelerate the uptake of renewables.

 For example, over 2.8 trillion US Dollars was invested in renewables globally over the last 20 years with Africa getting only 2% of the potential, despite its huge renewable energy potential and the need to provide access to over half of the population.

With those concerns, it has been observed that non-renewable energy, especially fossil fuels, plays a major role in the energy systems and economies of African countries.

About 77% of the electricity generated on the continent is from fossil fuels, while the transport and industrial sectors rely almost entirely on these fuels. Fossil fuels including coal, oil, and natural gas, account for about 50 – 80% of government revenues for major producing countries on the continent.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Total Energies is publishing Energy Outlook reports. The 2022 edition re-examines the two core scenarios – Momentum and Rupture –to achieve the energy transition by 2050, taking into consideration current energy markets and societal trends.

“With this document, in line with our climate ambition to get to Net Zero by 2050 and our ongoing transformation into a multi-energy company putting the sustainable development goals at the core of our strategy, TotalEnergies intends to share its knowledge of the global energy system, in order to contribute to the decisions that will foster the energy transition and help to tackle climate change,” said CEO Patrick Pouyanné.

Generally, it has been observed that the short-term trajectory of global energy demand is not going in the right direction due to the economic recovery post-COVID in 2021 and the current market disruptions.

According to the outlook, more effort will be needed to decarbonize while ensuring energy security and affordability.

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