The 3rd Biennial Oil and Gas Law Conference3rd Biennial UWI Faculty of Law Oil and Gas Law Conference and the Just Transition Initiative Conference 2019
Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine - Dean, Faculty of Law, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus
Professor Raphael J Heffron Centre for Energy, Petroleum, Mineral Law and Policy, University of Dundee, UK and Visiting Senior Fellow Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, UK and Feature Speaker for today’s proceedings
Alicia Elias-Roberts, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Law, The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus and chair for today’s proceedings
Presenters, participants, specially invited guests, members of the media
I am honoured this morning to give remarks on behalf of BP Trinidad and Tobago.BPTT has partnered with the University of the West Indies from the inception of this conference and we are pleased to once again be a sponsor.
Our support for this conference is part of a wider partnership with UWI which includes support for the UWI Geosciences programme and work with the Department of Economics where we support the awareness and determination of solutions for issues related to hydrocarbon economies.
Certainly Education is one of BPTT’s social responsibility focus areas. We believe that education is essential to development of a country’s economy thus we are proud to partner with organizations that work throughout the education system to provide support and where necessary interventions at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels.
Our approach at the tertiary level is to build the awareness of issues that are relevant to the development of the energy sector. We are committed to encouraging dialogue on contemporary legal issues facing the energy sector.
Through this sponsorship our aim is to support the University in building the skill sets of not only our law students as they prepare to enter the world of work, but we hope to also shape the skills of legal practitioners who are interested in deepening their understanding and/or building a practice in these areas.
I would like to congratulate the organizers for selecting this year’s theme which calls on us to focus on the ways in which the energy industry can play a role in the Just Transition.
The ‘Just Transition’ as a movement calls on all of us to rethink how we operate in a world where the call is to a transition to a low carbon economy.
Organizations and nations are now called to act in a way that promotes transparency, inclusion and sustainability. It encourages us to identify the role that investors can play in connecting their actions on climate change with inclusive development pathways.
In the energy sector, it is imperative that we understand what Just Transition means for us in Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean region so that we can create solutions that not only adhere to the principles of the initiative but are also good for business and the wider community in our regional context.
At BP we believe that hydrocarbons will continue to play a major role in energy consumption into the future, yet energy companies must find ways to enable a lower carbon future.
This too is true for Trinidad and Tobago as a country. Ours is an island surrounded not just by water but by hydrocarbons to the North, South, East and West. We have been able to use these abundant resources to become one of the largest exporters of LNG, methanol and ammonia in the world. As a result, our economy is inextricably tied to these exports. However, these achievements have not come without consequences. As a nation we are the 2nd highest emitter of CO2 per capita and the 3rd most energy intensive country on earth.
Therefore, both BP and Trinidad and Tobago are faced with the same dual challenge; that is how do we continue to provide energy to the world while reducing our carbon footprint?
BP has termed the solution to this challenge the Energy Transition.
According to the BP Energy Outlook which we publish annually:
• Global energy demand will increase by about one third by 2040
• By 2040, 85% of the growth in energy supply will be generated through renewable energy and natural gas.
Thus at BP we view the energy transition not as a race to renewables but as a race to find lower carbon sources of energy.
This means widening the focus from simply switching to alternative energy to finding solutions to climate challenges.
For BP that includes, for example, finding ways to reduce emissions within our existing operations and designing facilities that are leaner and greener.
It also includes partnering and acquiring companies that can provide lower carbon solutions. To date BP has made acquisitions in Clean Energy Fuels, established a partnership with Lightsource, one of the UK’s largest solar developers and acquired Chargemaster, the operator of the UK’s largest Electric Vehicle charging network and the leading supplier of EV charging infrastructure.
In a wider sense – in terms of the local energy sector – it is imperative that we include in our deliberations a review of the regulatory framework that would enable this transition. How can we, as a sector, create or enable a framework that facilitates the transition?
Trinidad and Tobago has a target of achieving 10% renewable energy by 2021 and achieving a 15% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030. I am happy to express to you today that BP is supportive of these national efforts, and at a Global level the company has set its own targets of:
• Zero growth in operational emissions out to 2025;
• 3.5 million metric tons of sustainable greenhouse gas reductions by 2025;
• Targeting a methane intensity of 0.2% and holding it below 0.3%.
At a local level BP Trinidad and Tobago has drafted a lower carbon implementation plan designed to focus on the areas of power generation, energy efficiency, facility design, operational activities and logistics. In addition, the plan gives special focus to supporting national emissions reduction efforts and influencing our partners to help Trinidad and Tobago achieve its emissions and renewable energy targets.
The discussion during days 2 and 3 of this conference will focus specifically on the Energy Transition component of the Just Transition.
Whilst I am particularly interested in the role of investors, I urge all participants during the next three days to take the opportunity during this conference to collaborate meaningfully for the development of a framework that is achievable and actionable so that when we gather again in the future we can tangibly measure our progress.
A word of caution, however: Just Transition is meant to include wide participation of communities, especially those communities at risk. In that sense it is not enough to provide a forum for discussion. To tangibly contribute to the Just Transition, the outcomes of this conference must reach beyond the legal fraternity, beyond UWI and beyond the energy industry. We must find mechanisms to engage all stakeholders and work together to confront the challenges identified by the Just Transition.
The conference is an important step in setting the frame for resolving some of our country’s challenges as we embrace the Energy Transition.
I look forward to vibrant debate over the next three days and I wish both presenters and participants a successful conference.