Equinor CEO: Energy Transition Demands Persistence

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Equinor CEO Anders Opedal says the transition to a low-carbon economy requires a sustained effort that may test the patience of those who want to see faster progress.

"Many are impatient. Many say the energy transition is moving too slowly" Opedal told the Energy Intelligence Forum on Tuesday as he accepted the 2021 Energy Innovation Award on behalf of the Norwegian company.

Opedal said he understood that impatience but added that Equinor was committed to doing the necessary "hard work, every day" to achieve decarbonization.

Next month's UN climate conference in Glasgow could play an important role in raising global climate ambitions and keeping the transition on track, he said.

Equinor itself will "continue to change," Opedal stressed, noting the company's goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

"For us, a broad energy company, a key question is not only how we contribute to the energy transition, but how we lead it," he said.

"There are many pathways to net zero, and what all of them have in common is that rapid, large-scale and industrial efforts are needed."

Carbon Capture and Hydrogen

This is particularly true of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and the development of hydrogen as a source of energy.

Without these two crucial technologies, there is "no viable path to net zero and realizing the goals of Paris," Opedal argued.

Some critics have dismissed CCS as "science fiction" but the Equinor chief said it was an essential tool for tackling climate change.

"This is a technology that's proven, safe and a necessary element for driving change the world needs," he insisted.

Opedal also emphasized the importance of teamwork, noting that the Northern Lights CCS project in Norway is a collaboration between Equinor, TotalEnergies, Royal Dutch Shell, the Norwegian government and others.

The annual Energy Innovation Award was established in 2012 to recognize outstanding progress made by an oil and gas company in adapting to the energy transition and setting an example to other companies.

Equinor ranks first in Energy Intelligence's ESG Climate Risk Benchmark and is also highly ranked in the other two benchmarks created by Energy Intelligence's Energy Transition Service — the Vulnerability Index and the Low-Carbon Investment Tracker.

The company was chosen as this year's winner of the Energy Innovation Award from a field of 100 oil and gas companies by an external panel of experts in finance, academia, government and consulting.

Low-Carbon Policy, ENERGY INTELLIGENCE FORUM 2021, Carbon Capture (CCS), Hydrogen, CO2 Emissions, ENERGY INTELLIGENCE FORUM 2021
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