Climate Change: AfDB seeks reduction of poisonous gases

…….by petroleum sector

The African Development Bank (AfDB), says mitigating climate change requires urgent and significant reductions of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by the petroleum sector.

Independent Advisor and Consultant to the AfDB, Elisabeth Mitchell, said this during a PowerPoint presentation on Wednesday.

The presentation was made at the Knowledge Sharing Webinar Series on Natural Gas and Energy Transition.

The webinar series was organised by the African Natural Resources Management and Investment Centre of the AfDB Group in partnership with the New Petroleum Producers Group (NPG).

The series was tagged “Minimising Greenhouse Gases in the Petroleum Sector: The Opportunity for Emerging Producers”.

GHGs are compound gases that trap heat radiation in the atmosphere and their presence makes the earth’s surface warmer.

Mitchell, however, said African governments should make minimising GHGs central to decisions in their different countries petroleum sectors.

“Make minimising greenhouse gas emissions from your petroleum sector central to all decisions about that sector from inception to decommissioning.

“It reduces the risks of your projects becoming stranded and allows you to develop your resource for the benefit of your population in a carbon constrained era.”

She also said minimising GHG emissions should be at the centre of all decisions about the sector.

“From initial project design, through operating practices, to a fully funded decommissioning plan.”

Mitchell said a recent policy paper jointly produced by the bank and the NPG discussed emerging frameworks and technologies for decarbonising the oil and gas sector.

She said it offered practical policy recommendations on how to design legal, fiscal, and regulatory frameworks to obtain lowest emissions projects.

“The paper discusses the levers that governments have at their disposal (and) the challenges governments face in moving from pledges to implementation.

“Suggests a framework for decision-making and to support low GHG projects and makes recommendations in each of the key areas.

“Provides links to further resources.”

Furthermore, she said governments needed a clear policy to align international and domestic pledges, national planning, and operational petroleum sector goals.

“Governments need to focus on understanding petroleum sector emission; understanding and estimating GHG emissions; regulating and designing their sector to prevent routing flaring and methane leakage; introducing renewables into project designs; and addressing hard to abate residual emissions.”

She, however, said implementation was a challenge.

The official spoke on the importance of minimising GHG emissions from the petroleum sector.

“The bulk of emissions relate to the end use of petroleum products, and are spread among many users, these are difficult to reduce.

“Emissions from upstream production of oil and gas are concentrated in producing countries that can act to have a significant impact by reducing them.” (NAN)

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