Taking oil and gas out of the ground, processing it, and delivering it to consumers accounts for almost 15% of global energy-related emissions – more than all the emissions produced by the United States or twice the emissions of the entire European Union. The IEA’s latest report, Emissions from Oil and Gas Operations in Net Zero Transitions, shows how the oil and gas industry can slash these emissions by 60% between now and 2030, using just a fraction of the windfall income accrued from record energy prices in 2022.

This year’s COP28 Climate Change Conference in the United Arab Emirates, a major oil and gas producer, is a unique opportunity for the industry to demonstrate a real commitment to cutting emissions.

“The oil and gas industry has the technologies, the money and the know-how to cut its emissions by 60% by 2030. And it has the responsibility to do so,” Dr Birol writes. “This is a moment of truth: if the oil and gas industry wants to be taken seriously in climate discussions, it has to clean up its act.”

The report identifies five key levers to achieve this reduction: tackling methane emissions; eliminating all non-emergency flaring; electrifying upstream facilities with low-emissions electricity; equipping oil and gas processes with carbon capture, utilisation and storage; and expanding the use of low-emissions hydrogen in refineries.