Doha-headquartered Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) has applauded the speech of His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, at the Opening Session of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Qatar hosts the permanent headquarters of the forum – an intergovernmental coalition of some 18 major gas producing countries, enjoying the largest share of proven reserves, production, and trade of natural gas in the world.
“As an organisation that embodies the ethos of diplomacy and multilateralism, it is inspiring to see Qatar addressing the UNGA as a leading voice on the 50th anniversary of the State’s membership of the United Nations,” said Yury Sentyurin, GECF secretary-general.
Bolstered by the State of Qatar’s recent successes in the management of Covid-19 and diplomatic wins in several areas of influence, the statement of His Highness the Amir in front of the global assembly has been widely hailed.
The GECF draws inspiration from His Highness the Amir’s leadership stance when he exhorted the international community in his speech by emphasising that the “climate change remains one of the most critical challenges of our time, as it brings with it disastrous impacts on all aspects of life for the current and future generations, which necessitates pursuing our joint efforts to confront these effects.”
“The State of Qatar has placed climate change at the forefront of its priorities, and it continues to take the necessary measures to develop climate change-related technologies and clean energy,” noted His Highness the Amir whilst adding that the country looks forward to the upcoming United Nations COP26 conference to be held in Glasgow in the United Kingdom.
Qatar, which hosted the COP18 in 2012, has taken a number of steps to confront climate change, including enhancing its ambition towards reducing overall emissions by 25% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels.
Earlier this month, Qatar’s cabinet approved the National Climate Change Plan, whose ambition includes establishing the biggest carbon capture project in the Middle East and North Africa, improving the efficiency of the hydrocarbon toxicity treatment, the ongoing Tarsheed programme to conserve electricity and water consumption, and building a solar power station with a capacity of 800MW. On the international front, the country has instituted a $100mn fund to support small islands and least developed countries on their climate actions.
Meanwhile, the sustainability drive remains at the heart of preparations for the FIFA World Cup 2022 which will be the world’s first carbon neutral event of its kind.
In the area of mobility, Public Works Authority (Ashghal) is establishing one of the largest electric charging stations in the world for public transportation.
In 2021, Qatar Petroleum (QP) launched its new strategy, which establishes a number of targets in alignment with the goals of the Paris Agreement and sets in motion a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. It stipulates deploying dedicated Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) facilities to capture more than seven million tons per annum of CO2 in Qatar. The project will minimise emissions from Qatar’s LNG facilities by 25% and its upstream facilities by at least 15%.
“These leadership messages from Qatar on climate change resonate with the GECF, which is exerting considerable effort to realise the SDG #7 on clean and affordable energy for all by 2030, meanwhile adopting carbon neutral energy technologies and systems,” Sentyurin said.
GECF enjoys the status of an Observer Organisation at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and a regular contributor to its COP meetings.