The Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) is keen for gas to remain pivotal in the energy transition as the world now looks ahead to COP27, scheduled for November 2022 in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt.

The Doha-headquartered GECF said its 18 members have placed climate action at the “forefront of their priorities” by focusing on exploration of all possible options — from technology and innovation to research and development — to cement the role of natural gas as a solution for a balanced energy transition.

The GECF said it had helped ensure that natural gas producers have a seat at the table in greenhouse emissions discussions in a range of international forums, including "all important discussions currently taking place within the framework of the UNFCCC", or United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the parent treaty of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The GECF describes itself as "an international governmental organisation" comprising 18 nations that together represent 70% of the world’s proven gas reserves and 44% of its production, including 52% of pipeline gas and 51% of liquefied natural gas exports.

The organisation said it “specifically values” the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities of nations and their respective capabilities”.

“This principle is a key determinant for an equitable approach towards the effort expected from each country in relation to climate change. We consider that ensuring access to competitive and reliable energy sources is of paramount importance for a sustained economic recovery,” said the GECF.

Right balance

“There is a real need to look for the energy options that achieve the right balance between the post-Covid-19 economic and social requirements and the environmental constraints,” the group said.

The GECF maintained that emerging technologies such as small-scale liquefied natural gas, carbon capture, utilisation and storage, and the production of blue hydrogen and ammonia from natural gas support the decarbonisation potential of natural gas and should be embraced.

It added that dealing with methane emissions is a priority in its member nations.

“Considerable effort is being deployed in the GECF community to improve data accuracy, abate methane along the gas supply chain, and eliminate the venting and flaring of natural gas.

“Notwithstanding the ongoing reductionism and cancel culture on hydrocarbons, the GECF aspires to present a balanced energy-transition roadmap for a constructive debate that will enable policymakers to instigate and, perhaps, lead a realistic energy transition,” it said.