The role of the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry in enabling the country’s transition to a lower carbon future was underlined at an industry conference in Aberdeen on Tuesday.
More than 400 delegates from across the sector attended OGUK’s Industry Conference 2019 at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Center to hear speeches and discussions on the theme “An Industry in Transition.” With reflections on changes to business, people and energy, over 45 industry leaders set out their stall on the big issues facing the sector.
Speaking at the conference, OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie, quoted Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, “an impressive young woman we can all take inspiration from – a woman who wants to change the world”:
“Until you start focusing on what needs to be done rather than what is politically possible, there is no hope. We can’t solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis. We need to keep the fossil fuels in the ground, and we need to focus on equity. And if solutions within the system are so impossible to find, maybe we should change the system itself.”
“I would like to reassure Greta Thunberg- we are listening, because we want the world to be a better place too,” Michie said. “And while we believe that our industry’s global contribution has improved the lives of billions of people, we are clear that climate change is a real and present danger that we must deal with together.
“When Greta says, 'If solutions within the system are so impossible to find, maybe we should change the system itself,' I would like to suggest that as the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry has so many talented people, engineers, data scientists, remote vehicle operators, technologists and more.
“We can find and deliver the solutions needed while at the same time positioning ourselves to be at the heart of an energy system that also needs to change.
“Whether it is by the sector working to reduce its operational emissions as well as supporting the advancement of low carbon and abatement technologies.
“Indeed, along with our sector delivering from exploration through to decommissioning, it’s already unlocking the energy transition with some operators extending their portfolios into other energies – Equinor –Total, Shell and BP.
“This is why we welcomed the Climate Change committee report last month, where it recommended that the UK set a net zero target for GHG by 2050 and by 2045 for Scotland.
“This report provides a balanced and thoughtful blueprint towards a lower carbon future and I would commend it to those of you who haven’t read it yet.
“Its recommendations are rooted in practical and societal choices that we need to embrace as an industry and as individuals if we are truly to make a leading and constructive contribution to the future of our industry, our economy and our society generally.”