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Russia and Saudi Arabia reject calls to finish oil and gas spending

Russia and Saudi Arabia reject calls to finish oil and gas spending

June 7, 2021: -Russia and Saudi Arabia two of the largest oil-producing countries plan to defy the International Energy Agency’s recommendations in the world and continue investing in oil and gas, which reject calls to drastically scale back the use of fossil fuels despite a deepening climate crisis.

Policymakers are under immense pressure to pass on promises made as a part of the Paris Agreement, a landmark accord recognized as critically important to avoid the most devastating impact of climate change.

Nearly 200 countries, which include Russia and Saudi Arabia, ratified the Paris climate accord in the year 2015 that agreed to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels of the planet. The agreement requires net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050.

Remarkably, the IEA, the world’s leading energy advisor, delivered its starkest warning yet on global fossil fuel use in the previous month, adding that the exploitation and development of new oil and gas fields must end this year if the world wants to reach net-zero emissions by the mid of the century.

On Thursday, speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak says that the IEA had ostensibly arrived at its findings “by using reverse calculations” on how to achieve net-zero emissions by the year 2050.

To be sure, the top global watchdog says halting developments in oil, gas, and coal is fundamental to reach the agreed goal of net-zero emissions internationally.

“In my view, this a simplistic approach. It is also unrealistic,” Novak told CNBC.

“There is no doubt we need to move in the green energy and toward the green agenda as there is demand for it in the society, but we need to be clear what resources this can be done with, that is going to pay for it, what technologies and opportunities we have available to us, that include resolving outstanding problems that still await their solutions,” he added.

His reaction to the report came after OPEC and non-OPEC partners, an energy alliance is known as OPEC+, agreed to gradually ease production cuts in coming months between a rebound in oil prices.

Saudi Arabia is “producing oil and gas at low cost and producing renewables. I urge the world to accept this as a reality, that we’re going to be winners of all of these activities,” he said. Novak said Moscow intended to do the same.

“I can assure you that the Russian Federation, its plans, its strategy continue to invest in both oil and gas and in coal. But we invest in renewables as well, in electric cars and electric charging stations, so we see the in the future decade as using a mix of renewables and fossils fuels,” Novak said.

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