COP28 President Sultan Al-Jaber announced on Saturday that 50 major global oil companies have committed to reducing methane emissions, one of the most hazardous greenhouse gasses, to nearly zero by 2030 and cease routine natural gas flaring.
The 50 companies, members of the Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter, collectively account for about 40% of the world's oil production.
Al-Jaber emphasized that the inclusion of oil and industry companies in COP28 would be a crucial element this year.
The announcement holds significant importance in significantly reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by almost half in about seven years to mitigate the impact of global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The commitment includes major national oil companies such as Saudi Aramco, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Brazil’s Petrobras, Angola’s Sonangol, and multinational corporations like Shell and Total.
“The world does not work without energy,” said al-Jaber at an energy session on Saturday.
“Yet the world will break down if we do not fix energies we use today, mitigate their emissions at a gigaton scale, and rapidly transition to zero carbon alternatives,” he added.
Methane can be released at several points along the operation of an oil and gas company, from fracking to when natural gas is produced, transported or stored. Over a shorter period, it’s more than 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas most responsible for climate change.
Al-Jaber urged oil and gas companies to exert more effort in finding solutions for indirect greenhouse gas emissions, otherwise known as Scope 3 emissions.
The Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter has the support of heavyweight OPEC nations, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
In a separate commitment, approximately 117 governments pledged to triple the world’s capacity for renewable energy by 2030 during the COP28 summit on Saturday.