Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Speech of His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani Amir of the State of Qatar At The Opening of The Sixth Summit of the Heads of State and Government Members of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF)

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In the Name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Your Excellencies,

Heads and Members of Delegations,

Our Distinguished Guests,
Members of Delegations of the Observer States,

At the opening of the Sixth Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, it is my pleasure to welcome you to Qatar, praying to God that our deliberations be culminated in success.

Our summit is being convened today amidst the challenges that have been posed by the Corona Virus pandemic for more than two years, leaving its imprint on various aspects of human life around the world.

While we are all working to confront this unprecedented crisis, it has become clear that resilience and international cooperation are still important factors in transforming challenges into opportunities, and in the transition to a new normal situation that ensures the continuation of growth and prosperity that everyone seeks to achieve.

This pandemic has constituted a supportive factor for renewing the global dialogue on the challenges facing humanity as a whole, namely the climate change and the transition to low carbon energy.

This dialogue provided an opportunity to highlight the pivotal role of natural gas in the desired energy transformation, and in the search for a reliable source of energy that provides the right balance between achieving economic growth and dealing with environmental challenges, in addition to the valuable opportunities it offers towards economic recovery in the post-coronavirus pandemic era.
Honourable Audience, Ladies and gentlemen, 

Over the past two decades, the world has witnessed a major change in the energy chart, where the natural gas has occupied a large space, for several reasons, including that it is the least harmful energy source to the environment among other fossil energy sources. Natural gas has been able to occupy increasing spaces in the energy basket in many countries.

The Gas Exporting Countries Forum has played a major role in enhancing the contribution of natural gas to supporting economies and facing environmental challenges, which also contributes to achieving sustainable development goals. In
this regard, we appreciate the joint efforts of all member states which have worked to provide reliable natural gas supplies to global markets, and maintained the stability of the markets.

The transition to low-carbon energy is not only relevant to producers, but is also closely related to end-users whose consumption behaviours determine the extent of the effectiveness and success of this transition. The transformation efforts must follow a balanced approach that takes into account human and economic development requirements in developing countries and poor societies, where nearly one billion people are deprived of electricity and fuel, the two basic sources required for a decent life for human beings.

Investing in the ways and means of scientific and technological advances to capture and sequester carbon and reduce methane emissions is an essential component of a successful clean energy transition, and in enhancing the qualitative value that natural gas provides to users around the world, and keeping the global energy economy on a sustainable path,

The State of Qatar has confirmed on many occasions its commitment to support the transition to low carbon energy through working to remove more carbon from the gas production chain, as the largest ever carbon capture and sequestration facility in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region was commissioned several years ago with an annual capacity of up to 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent annually. This capacity will reach about 9 million tons by 2030.

To enhance our role in the natural gas industry, we are working to develop and increase our production capacity of liquefied natural gas from 77 million tons per year currently to 126 million tons per year by 2027, through the North Field production expansion projects, which include huge investments in eco-friendly technologies, namely an integrated system for capturing and injecting carbon dioxide, which, when fully operational, will become the largest of its kind in the LNG industry. Solar energy will be relied upon to generate part of the electricity required for this project. Honourable Audience,
Ladies and gentlemen,

The achievements of the Forum during this short period since its inception can't be ignored. They contribute day after day to achieving its goals and enhancing its collective vision and mission. Our summit comes today to confirm the basics through which our Forum works to promote the role of natural gas and its contribution to supporting economic development, social progress and environmental protection.

Our summit also emphasizes the importance of ensuring the security and stability of the supplies and the demand, and the existence of transparent and nondiscriminatory legal frameworks that guarantee the interests of the member states of the Forum, in addition to adopting fair policies in the fields of energy and environment in gas consuming countries.

The importance of highlighting the crucial position of natural gas must be emphasized here as a primary energy source that we greatly need to manage the irregular nature of renewable energy resources and to compensate for daily and seasonal demand fluctuations.

The State of Qatar will continue to support the efforts to protect the interests of the gas exporters, and to preserve the interests of the consumers, and to affirm the full and permanent sovereign rights of the member states to develop and exploit their natural resources. We will remain committed to enhancing the role of natural gas in the transition to low-carbon economies, and working alongside all our partners to achieve sustainable growth in the gas industry and meet the growing demand for this important source of energy. We will also seek to encourage investments and develop infrastructure and member states' capabilities to respond to natural disasters and accidents.

We renew our call for strengthening dialogue and cooperation between the member states on the one hand, and between the exporters and importers on the other hand, to ensure the security of natural gas supplies and the stability of the global gas markets.

In conclusion, I would like to congratulate His Excellency Eng. Mohamed Hamel, Secretary-General of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, on assuming his new tasks and to commend the valuable efforts of the General Secretariat over the past years under the leadership of His Excellency the former Secretary General, Dr. Yury Sentyurin.

I reiterate my welcome to you, and I wish the deliberations of this summit every success.

May peace, mercy and blessings of God be upon you.

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