‘Growing momentum’ behind efforts to limit carbon emissions: IEA

There is “growing momentum” to global efforts to accelerate carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) techniques to help the world meet increasingly urgent climate change targets, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said. (Reuters/File Photo)
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Updated 24 September 2020

‘Growing momentum’ behind efforts to limit carbon emissions: IEA

  • Global investment in CCUS techniques — which Saudi Arabia has placed at the center of its energy transition strategy — has already reached $4 billion this year,

DUBAI: There is “growing momentum” to global efforts to accelerate carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) techniques to help the world meet increasingly urgent climate change targets, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday.

Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director, said global investment in CCUS techniques — which Saudi Arabia has placed at the center of its energy transition strategy — has already reached $4 billion this year, and will likely increase as pressure to meet international standards on greenhouse gas emissions intensifies.

“If oil- and gas-producing countries like Saudi Arabia make a big push for CCUS, it’s more than welcome,” he added.

“The issue is whether these technologies will reduce emissions in a timely and significant manner.”

Birol was speaking at a virtual event to mark the publication of an IEA report titled “CCUS in clean energy transitions,” which calls for a “profound transformation in the way we produce and use energy that can only be achieved through a broad suite of strategies.” He said: “We love energy, but we don’t like emissions. Energy is good, emissions are bad.”

The Kingdom’s energy strategy, which seeks to promote technologies and processes that actually remove carbon from the circular economy, will be on show at a virtual meeting of G20 energy ministers organized in Riyadh next Sunday.

Energy Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman is expected to focus on the Kingdom’s efforts to develop technologies that eliminate carbon from the atmosphere, either storing it securely or using it in other industrial processes.

Birol said oil and gas producers have to manage a strategy that reconciles the requirements of their economies with long-term climate targets.

“It’s a very important task to see a marriage between the availability of energy and the need to reach target goals,” he added.

The IEA event was opened by Erna Solberg, prime minister of Norway, which this week launched an energy program called Longship, named after the Viking raiding boats that Solberg said were the leading technology of their day.

The project aims to cut emissions in oil-exporting Norway and other countries, and invest in CCUS technologies.

The IEA said CCUS will form a “key pillar of efforts to put the world on the path to net-zero emissions.”

CCUS techniques are already in use in Saudi Arabia at several of its oil-production facilities, and new megaprojects such as Neom will aim to achieve “carbon balance,” partly through the use of clean hydrogen as an alternative to traditional hydrocarbon fuels, as well as other forms of renewable energy.


Flydubai plane returns after inaugural service to Tel Aviv

Updated 26 November 2020

Flydubai plane returns after inaugural service to Tel Aviv

  • “Welcome to Dubai,” an immigration officer said as the passengers from Israel filed off the plane and into the glitzy Gulf city
  • The United Arab Emirates in September signed a landmark US-brokered deal to formalize relations with Israel

DUBAI: A flydubai aircraft landed in Dubai from Tel Aviv on Thursday, the first scheduled commercial flight between the two cities following the normalization of ties between the UAE and Israel.
“Welcome to Dubai,” an immigration officer said as the passengers from Israel filed off the plane and into the glitzy Gulf city, some of them waving and giving the peace sign.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was on hand in Tel Aviv earlier when the flight arrived after the four-hour journey from Dubai, called it “a moment of history.”
“As-salaam alaikum (Peace be upon you),” he said to arriving passengers. “Come again and again and again.”
The United Arab Emirates in September signed a landmark US-brokered deal to formalize relations with Israel, the first such agreement by an Arab state in the Gulf.
Commenting on the accord in a tweet on Thursday, UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan said it would foster “prosperity and progress” in the Middle East.
With their economies hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, the UAE and Israel are hoping for rapid dividends from the normalization deal, including an influx of tourists as Dubai enters its winter high season.
“The start of scheduled flights will contribute to economic development and create further opportunities for investment,” flydubai chief executive Ghaith Al-Ghaith said when the service was announced earlier this month.
The Dubai carrier will fly the route twice daily, and Israeli airlines El Al and Israir are both expected to launch their commercial services between the cities next month.
Etihad Airways, based in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, has said it will begin flying to Tel Aviv in March 2021.
The UAE became only the third Arab country to normalize ties with Israel, following Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.
The two countries have already signed treaties on visa-free travel — although that is yet to come into force — along with accords on investment protection, science and technology.
Since the historic agreement, Bahrain has also forged ties with Israel, while Sudan has agreed to do so in principle.