The Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), the global platform of the leading gas producing nations, has urged the international community at COP26 to look for energy options that achieve the right balance between the economic and social demands of a world emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic and climate action.

GECF secretary general Yury Sentyurin, who led the forum’s delegation, said transfer of decarbonisation technologies provides part of the answer.

“Given technology's pivotal role in transforming the energy industry, we recommend that the COP26 negotiations are underpinned by technology transfer to decarbonise the energy sector, including the decarbonisation technologies of the gas industry,” he said.

The GECF claims natural gas is the cleanest of all fossil fuels and its abundance, flexibility and affordability means backers see it as the ideal choice for energy transition, particularly for emerging and developing economies, many of them in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Latest GECF figures estimate natural gas will become the most used global energy source by 2050, increasing its share from 23% today to 27%.

“Ensuring access to competitive and reliable energy sources is of paramount importance for a sustained economic recovery,” noted Sentyurin.

Stay a step ahead with the Upstream News app
Read high quality news and insight on the oil and gas business and its energy transition on-the-go. The News app offers you more control over your Upstream reading experience than any other platform.

On Thursday he outlined the steps being taken by GECF member nations, from technology and innovation to research and development, to cement the role of natural gas as a solution for a balanced energy transition.

“Our Environmental Knowledge & Solutions framework has been initiated as a collaborative platform with designed measures to build capabilities and exchange expertise, specifically regarding greenhouse gas emissions mitigation practices," he said.

"The GECF member countries have placed climate action at the forefront of their priorities.”

The GECF members are Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad & Tobago, and Venezuela, with Angola, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Malaysia, Norway, Peru and the United Arab Emirates as observer members.

The group's members hold 70% of proven gas reserves, 44% of its marketed production, 52% of pipeline and 51% of liquefied natural gas exports across the globe.