A coalition of eleven national and subnational governments agreed this Thursday at the UN climate summit COP26 end the granting of new licenses for the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas in the territories under its jurisdiction.
In an initiative promoted by Denmark and Costa Rica, called the “Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance” (BOGA), eleven Executives (plus another as a ‘friend’) have committed to end the exploitation of these fossil resources “in a just and well-managed transition”.
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As announced at a press conference, in addition to these two founding partners, France, Ireland, Sweden, Wales (United Kingdom), Quebec (Canada) and Greenland join the group as “main members”.
In addition, New Zealand, California (United States) and Portugal are “associate” members and Italy joins for the moment as “friend of BOGA”.
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The principal members of the alliance commit to ending the granting of new exploration permits, while the partners must demonstrate that they are making efforts for their phase-out, such as the end of the grants.
In addition, Italy will join as a “friend”, which, according to the organization, implies that it supports its objectives.
In the presentation ceremony, held at the COP26 facilities, Denmark’s Minister of Climate, Energy and Public Services, Dan Jørgensen, declared that his Government will “end the fossil era”, not because “there is no more oil available “, But because” it is the right thing to do. “
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He stressed that for his country, “one of the main European oil producers”, this will be “an expensive but correct decision”, because they will have to face “the transformation of the fossil sector”.
For her part, the Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica, Andrea Meza, said that, despite the fact that her country “is not an oil producer”, they have “reserves”, deposits that they prohibited from exploiting “20 years ago. ”.
Meza assured that he had received “a lot of pressure to reverse that norm”, so they will shield that decision with the “approval of a new law” in that regard.
The Costa Rican minister reaffirmed her decision to join BOGA because “each fossil dollar is one dollar less for nature conservation.”
Sweden, also a main member of this alliance against oil and gas, represented by its environment and climate minister, Per Bolund, said that “the future is renewable” and that his country “will pass a law next summer that will establish the prohibition of the search for fossil fuels ”.
France’s Minister of Ecological Transition, Barbara Pompili, explained in a statement that “respecting the Paris Agreement means moving away from two centuries of fossil fuel civilization in a few decades.”
He pointed out that “in France, two thirds of the energy consumed is still of fossil origin”, so they must “achieve a complete transformation of our economy.”
Some countries have turned down the invitation to join the coalition, notably the UK, which has hosted the presidency of COP26 in Glasgow but has decided not to put an end date on the oil and gas phase-out.
In this regard, Ed Matthew, campaign director of the European independent expert group E3G, said in a statement that “the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) -which advises the British Government to maximize the economic benefit of its oil reserves and gas- must be eliminated ”.
According to Matthew, this body is unable to steer the industry towards net zero “and” should be replaced by a Clean Power Authority that focuses on building a sustainable energy future for the North Sea and its workers. “
E3G researcher Euan Graham noted that the BOGA alliance “represents a long-awaited shift in geopolitics” as “countries are realizing” the efforts that need to be made to “align oil and gas production” with Aim to contain the thermal rise by 1.5 degrees.
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