ARKANSAS, Oct 9 (Future Headlines)- Energy ministers from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Iraq, the three largest members of OPEC, gathered in Riyadh for the U.N. MENA climate week. They stressed that oil and gas should not be stigmatized in the climate debate and that the energy industry has a role to play in an orderly energy transition.

UAE Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei emphasized that major hydrocarbon producers have a responsibility to provide enough hydrocarbon resources to facilitate a responsible and reasonably priced energy transition. This underscores the importance of ensuring a smooth transition that does not disrupt global energy supplies.

The UAE is set to host the COP28 climate summit in Dubai from November 30 to December 12. COP28 presents an opportunity for governments to accelerate climate action and address global warming issues. The summit’s goal is to achieve transformational outcomes for the region and the world.

Sultan al-Jaber, COP28 president, has faced criticism from environmental campaigners due to his role as the head of the state oil giant ADNOC and the UAE’s membership in OPEC. However, he has advocated for a more inclusive COP that involves the oil and gas industry in the climate debate. He believes that the industry can contribute to solutions through decarbonization initiatives.

Countries are currently off track to meet the U.N. target of limiting global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and striving for a limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius. Achieving these goals is critical to avoiding the most severe consequences of climate change.

Climate summits like COP28 play a crucial role in bringing nations together to address climate challenges and commit to meaningful actions to reduce emissions and transition to cleaner energy sources.

The remarks from OPEC’s major members highlight their perspective on the role of oil and gas in the energy transition. They argue that the energy industry should not be marginalized but should actively participate in finding solutions to reduce emissions and mitigate climate change. This perspective aligns with the industry’s increasing focus on sustainability, decarbonization, and renewable energy initiatives.

The participation of major oil-producing nations in climate discussions indicates the recognition that a collaborative approach is essential to addressing the complex challenges of climate change while ensuring global energy security.

Reporting by Kevin Wood; Editing by Sarah White