July 21, 2024

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CEOs of major oil companies defend themselves against criticism

CEOs of major oil companies defend themselves against criticism

  • Speaking at the ADIPEC Oil and Gas Conference, executives representing major global energy companies sought to strike a positive tone on the current state of the fossil fuel industry.
  • Major oil companies, on the back of their record profits last year, have been accused of reneging on their climate pledges in recent months.
  • Vicky Holub, CEO of US oil and gas producer Oxy, said: “I don’t see where we are today as something that will end our industry, although there are those who want it to go away.”

Executives representing major energy companies in the United States, Europe and Asia speak during a panel moderated by CNBC at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The CEOs of some of the world’s largest energy companies on Monday sought to defend themselves from criticism, saying it is not possible to keep everyone happy amid the planned energy transition.

Speaking at the ADIPEC oil and gas conference, which opened in Abu Dhabi on Monday, executives representing major energy companies in the US, Europe and Asia sought to put a positive spin on the current state of the fossil fuel industry.

It comes shortly after Climate protesters took to the streets In hundreds of cities around the world to demand that world leaders gradually stop burning fossil fuels The main driver of the climate crisis.

Major oil companies have been accused of reneging on climate pledges in recent months after posting record annual profits described Human rights group Amnesty International described it as “completely inexcusable” and an “utter disaster.”

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“We have to step up and prepare for the zero-carbon systems of the future,” Tengku Mohd Taufik, group president and CEO of Malaysian state energy company Petronas, said during a panel moderated by CNBC on Monday.

He added: “So, it was always a discussion here, and I remembered an old saying: ‘If you want to keep everyone happy, sell ice cream.’” Tawfiq said: “We are not in the ice cream business – and I remember there were people with intolerances.” “Lactose”.

He added, “The indication here is that we have to make some difficult decisions and we have to be bound by facts, rationality and practical steps, but we will get there.”

The biggest challenge that’s even harder to address than innovation in technology is just getting people to trust our industry again.

Vicky Holub

CEO of Oxy

As widely expected, a major UN report published last month confirmed that the world is not currently on track to meet the long-term goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement, a landmark agreement aimed at continuing efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The world has Its temperature rose by about 1.1 degrees Celsius after more than a century of burning fossil fuels, as well as unequal and unsustainable energy and land use. In fact, this increase in temperatures is fueling a series of extreme weather events around the world.

Vicki Holub, CEO of US oil and gas producer Oxy, said these were “really exciting times” for the oil and gas industry, and noted that the main challenge facing fossil fuel companies was working to restore community trust.

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“I don’t see where we are today as something that will end our industry even though there are those who want it to go away,” Holub said during the same panel discussion.

“In mitigating climate change, there is also an opportunity to continue producing oil for our energy security. So, we are trying to work with this strategy and I think it will work well. The biggest challenge that is more difficult to face than the one facing us.” “Even innovation in technology only makes people trust our industry again and understand what the data is really saying,” she added.

Patrick Pouyanne, CEO of French oil giant Total Energy, said the oil and gas industry has all the tools needed to be a “major participant” in the energy transition.

“After three or four years, I realized that maybe I was naive, and we are not going to please the activists,” Pouyan said. “We will not do enough to satisfy those who oppose oil and gas, but my job is not to satisfy them.” .

He added: “Our mission is to provide society with the energy we need today and tomorrow, and that is why I feel comfortable.”

Wael Sawan, CEO of Shell, speaks during a panel discussion at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Speaking in January, UN Secretary-General António Guterres condemned fossil fuel giants for ignoring their own climate science, and accused the oil and gas industry of seeking to expand production despite knowing “fully” that their business model is incompatible with human survival.

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Scientists have repeatedly warned that time is quickly running out to stave off the worst that the climate crisis has in store.

Commenting on his position as CEO of the British oil giant Shell since the beginning of the year, Wael Sawan said: “It has been wonderful, and I think it has been a roller coaster. It is the worst of times and the best of times.”

“I think the worst times with recognition is when we continue to polarize the discussion more and more instead of actually coming together given that we’re trying to solve the biggest problem in the world right now,” Sawan continued.

“But it’s also the best of times because I think that despite all the negative rhetoric, if you look at what the world has done over the last two or three years and the huge increase in both low-carbon energy and conventional energy, it has been that way.” “Good. We are not close to where we should be, but at the same time, we must not lose hope.”