On 12 December 2015, more than 190 countries ratified an historic agreement on climate change in Paris. Statoil welcomes the agreement, but CEO Eldar Sætre warned that individual national efforts would be insufficient to solve the global climate challenge alone.

“We have come to COP21 to show strong support to world leaders and national governments. Only together can they achieve an effective international agreement that puts us firmly on the pathway to a low carbon future. We are behind them. And we are ready to continue to deliver," said Sætre, speaking at the COP21 conference.

In Paris, delegates agreed on the first universal global climate agreement based on individual national contributions. The main aim of the deal is attempt to limit the rise in global temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. It also calls for zero net emissions of greenhouse gases by the second half of this century. The Paris deal will come into force in 2020. After that, each country’s progress towards the Nationally Determined Contributions will be reviewed every five years, starting in 2023.

This new “bottom up” style of global climate cooperation may have helped to achieve the Paris deal. However, it will be difficult to reach any climate targets without collaboration between the public and private sectors.

In September 2015, addressing the Climate Week in New York, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon spoke of a special role the private sector could play as implementers of the Paris agreement.

“I asked leaders from government, business, finance and civil society to crystallize a global vision for low-carbon economic growth and to advance climate action on five fronts: cutting emissions; mobilizing money and markets; pricing carbon; strengthening resilience; and mobilizing new coalitions,” said Ban Ki-Moon.

statoil partnership infographic

In Statoil, we recognise that the need for wider collaboration and partnership is now more urgent than ever. These partnerships have the value of convening the private sector together with governments and civil society to work towards common climate goals. Eldar Sætre believes the oil and gas industry in particular has a crucial role to play in the transition to a low carbon energy future. 

“Our support matters, because the industry has both the capability and the technical expertise to deliver emission reductions", he says.

The oil and gas industry has already strongly engaged in climate discussions. In June 2015, CEOs of six international oil companies, including Statoil, called on governments to introduce carbon pricing to stimulate investment in emissions reductions and low carbon technology. Statoil also joined eight other international and national oil companies in the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative to work together on accelerating the transition to a low carbon future. These CEO-led initiatives not only add value to the climate discussion, but also have real impact on company priorities and decision making process.

Statoil also cooperates with the World Bank and United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) on carbon pricing and flaring, and methane emission reductions.

Since the inception of the World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Reduction programme, flaring has been in steady decline across the globe. The World Bank has now established an ambitious target to eliminate routine flaring by 2030. Statoil was one of the first to adopt this target.

In 2014, we joined the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) Oil and Gas Methane Partnership (OGMP) as a founding partner. Through this initiative, we will address methane emissions and report on annual progress. The results of our activities were reported in May 2016.

The reality is that the world needs more energy, and oil and gas will be part of the energy mix for some time. However, we need responsible producers, as well as responsible consumers in order to transform the energy system. We stand ready to lead the way in shaping the future of energy, where we can continue to grow and participate in the new business opportunities of the transition to a low carbon future.