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WPC and OFID launch new initiative

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Oilfield Technology,

Executives from major oil and gas companies and strategic partners have joined together with the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and World Petroleum Council (WPC), to support the achievement of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG7 on universal access to sustainable energy.

The ‘Oil and Gas Industry Energy Access Platform (EAP)’ initiative was launched by OFID and WPC in support of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) multi-stakeholder platform. They were joined by representatives from Total S.A., Shell International B.V., the Global LPG Partnership, the International Gas Union and Shell Foundation, and several others.

The following launch statement was delivered at the meeting:

Energy has finally achieved its rightful position at the centre of the global development agenda. The new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were approved in September 2015, had among them SDG 7: “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.” This will address the needs of the 1.1 billion people lacking electricity access and the 2.9 billion people still using firewood for cooking and heating by providing them with access to safer and more efficient modern energy options, including renewable energy.

Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All), launched by the UN Secretary-General in 2011 with objectives now echoed in SDG 7, is an implementation platform bringing together partners across the public and private sectors and civil society. It is supported by many entities, including the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and the World Petroleum Council (WPC), all of whose actions will be key in achieving SDG 7.

The oil and gas industry is willing to play an important role in energy poverty alleviation and its concerted efforts can become a positive contribution to the proposed SDGs as well as the objectives of the SE4All. The industry is in a unique position to use its resources – in particular its technical expertise and growing knowledge around modern energy – to develop creative solutions for providing improved access to energy and to create opportunities for replicating and scaling up investments aimed at achieving sustainable energy for all, working together with other stakeholders, including development funds, governments, civil society, business developers and other industry initiatives.

Members of the oil and gas industry are supporting a range of activities to tackle the social challenges of their host communities, as part of a broader commitment to sustainable development, and this includes an increased focus on addressing energy poverty. This is important particularly in developing countries, as access to affordable, modern energy is critical to foster local economic development.

To this end, the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), the World Petroleum Council (WPC), Total S.A. and Shell International B.V., with support and expertise from Global LPG Partnership, the UK-based charity Shell Foundation, the Boston Consulting Group, and International Gas Union (IGU) are launching an Oil and Gas Industry Energy Access Platform (EAP) to contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, specifically SDG 7. By bringing the members of the oil and gas industry and supporting actors together to highlight their contribution to SDG 7, the platform is also addressing the other SDGs, as energy directly links to every adopted goal and to 56 out of the 169 targets.

The President of the World Petroleum Council, Dr Jozsef Toth welcomed the initiative and said: “Our industry is in a unique position to use its technical expertise and knowledge to develop creative and innovative solutions to providing better access to energy for all.”

The EAP will harness the enormous potential of the industry and build upon its leadership, technology and highly relevant business experience. At the same time, the EAP will provide a platform for the Oil and Gas Companies to collaborate with other stakeholders on specific actions focused on energy access, namely:

  • Share best practices, data and disseminate knowledge about energy access solutions, in particular where these solutions accelerate progress towards SDG7.
  • Leverage industry capabilities to support access to energy, including modern energy and efficient solutions.
  • Help the industry in identifying corporate social responsibility opportunities in host countries, and harmonise robust, practical and cost effective approaches for facing energy access challenges.
  • Foster communication within industry about energy access solutions.
  • Contribute to better integrate energy access in policies and projects at country level.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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