The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, expressed the importance of international cooperation in the energy market during his opening speech at the sixth Gas Exporting Countries Forum in Doha.
The Emir began his speech by commenting on the global challenges posed by the Covid-19 outbreak, saying it transitioned into a new normal that “would guarantee prosperity and growth”.
“Whilst we all strive to counter this unprecedented crisis, it has been clear that international flexibility and cooperation remain key factors in turning challenges into opportunities.”
The Qatari leader says that the pandemic was an opportunity to ensure a balance between economic growth and climate change by transitioning to low carbon fuels. This includes liquified natural gas (LNG).
“The world has witnessed in the last two decades a big change in the energy map, where natural gas has occupied a big place for multiple reasons, including the fact that it’s the least environmentally damaging fossil fuel,” said Sheikh Tamim.
The Emir told the summit that the transition to a low carbon source of energy does not only fall on the producers, but also the consumers.
“It is also closely linked to the final users whose consuming behaviour dictates the success of this transition.”
The GECF represents 71% of the world’s proven natural gas reserves and 58% of LNG exports. Sheikh Tamim expressed his appreciation to the contributions of the GECF since its establishment more than a decade ago.
“We highly appreciate the joint efforts amongst all member countries that have worked hard in order to ensure credible and reliable supply of natural gas to the world market and preserve the stability of those markets.”
The Qatari leader also discussed the importance of having a cohesive and balanced approach in the transition process to natural gases that also takes into account developing countries’ needs.
“The summit also confirms the need to protect the stability of supply and demand and finding transparent, non-discriminatory frameworks that guarantees the interests of member countries,” said Sheikh Tamim.
The Emir called for the need to adopt “fair policies for the environment and energy production in different countries”.
Qatar has the LNG production capacity of up to 77 million metric tonne per year. This number would be ramped up through the North Field expansion project, the largest of its kind in the world.
Through the North Field expansion project, the Gulf state now set to become the world’s largest provider of natural gas by 2030.