Executives from major oil and gas companies and strategic partners have joined together with the OPEC Fund for International Development, OFID, and the World Petroleum Council, WPC, to launch an Oil and Gas Industry Energy Access Platform, EAP.
Designed within the context of the UN multi-stakeholder Sustainable Energy for All initiative, the EAP will directly support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, in particular SDG7 on universal access to sustainable energy.
OFID and WPC are joined by representatives from TOTAL S.A., Shell International B.V., The Global LPG Partnership, The International Gas Union and Shell Foundation, and several others. Other industry players are expected to join the initiative in due course.
OFID Director-General Suleiman J Al-Herbish described the launch of the EAP as a "defining moment for both OFID and for the members of the oil and gas industry who join us, as we propel the effort to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, modern energy for all."
He said that the EAP offered a two-fold benefit, giving members the chance to both help the poor and steer the industry in a positive direction. "The EAP will also be a catalyst for meaningful action for other oil and gas companies, development financial institutions, and the private sector to follow," he added.
OFID has been working to harness the support of the oil and gas industry in eradicating energy poverty since being mandated to do so by its Member Countries in November 2007. A huge effort is still needed to address the needs of the 1.1 billion people lacking electricity access and the 2.9 billion people still using firewood for cooking and heating.
Dr. Jozsef Toth, President of the World Petroleum Council, highlighted what the oil and gas industry can bring to the platform. "By sharing practical knowledge, projects and solutions with each other, we can leverage the expertise and capabilities of our industry as key parts of the energy sector to enhance the lives of billions of people who lack access to modern energy options," he stressed.