Insights and Commentaries

Insights and Commentaries

Saudi Minister for Petroleum and Mineral Resources reflects on the recent CSLF meeting in Saudi Arabia

15th November 2015

Topic(s): Carbon capture, Economics, Public engagement, use and storage (CCUS)

The sixth Ministerial Conference of the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum was held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 15 November 2015. The CSLF is a high-level meeting of national governments with an interest in driving development of carbon capture and storage (CCS). Co-chairs for the 2015 Meeting were United States Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and His Excellency Ali Al-Naimi, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources for Saudi Arabia. Here, his Excellency reflects on the Conference.

During the first week of November 2015, Ministers and Heads of Delegation met for the 6th Ministerial Conference of the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The CSLF is a Ministerial-level international climate change initiative. It is focused on the development of improved, cost-effective technologies for carbon capture and storage, or CCS.

At this meeting, the CSLF welcomed its new members, namely the Republic of Romania and the Republic of Serbia.

This meeting discussed the progress made in the research, development, demonstration and global deployment of CCS since we last convened in 2013. As co-chairs, United States Secretary Ernest Moniz, and I led the discussion. These included Minsters and Heads of Delegation from the 24 CSLF members and a large number of non-CSLF member countries. More than 250 people attended this CSLF Ministerial, showing great interest in CCS.

The gathering provided an unique opportunity to discuss the key challenges facing CCS. And this helps to identify effective approaches to address those challenges.

This year’s CSLF Ministerial had particular significance in light of the upcoming 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in December in Paris.

Our collective thoughts as a Ministerial body are captured and summarized in the CSLF Ministerial Communique. In summary:

  1. CCS could contribute about one-sixth of needed CO2 emission reductions in 2050. It could contribute 14 percent of the cumulative emissions reductions between 2015 and 2050 compared to a business-as-usual approach. This is as noted by the International Energy Agency, in a scenario in which global CO2 emissions are constrained to levels consistent with a less than 2°C rise in global temperatures at the lowest cost.
  2. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Synthesis Report, AR5, concluded that without CCS the costs of climate change mitigation would increase by 138 percent. Also, that without CCS, 2°C may not be possible.
  3. We are greatly encouraged by the considerable progress made in the research, development, demonstration and global deployment of CCS since we last convened.
  4. We will continue to explore the potential of CO2 utilization technology. And the CSLF will encourange creative, economically beneficial and environmentally friendly uses of CO2.
  5. We have the opportunity to accelerate CCS deployment now and in the near future with strong global commitments and supportive government policies.
  6. We acknowledge that CCS needs to be broadly recognized as a key low-carbon technology that enables global climate mitigation goals to be achieved. We advocate for clean energy policies that support CCS alongside other clean energy technologies, such as renewable energy and efficiency measures.
  7. We agreed to collectively foster international collaboration aimed at advancing development and deployment of large-scale projects that demonstrate CCS technologies. Also, to help build government, investor, and public confidence in CCS.
  8. Working together we can create opportunities and remove barriers for private sector investment in order to advance CCS and spark innovation.

Today there is growing recognition of CCS as a critical tool to achieve global climate change mitigation goals. Still, much work remains to be done.

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