Mr. Duncan, the COP28 Climate Change Conference has recently been held in Dubai. Its results are qualified differently: from «too little to late» to «historical commitment to phase out from fossil fuel». What is your judgement?
I’ve been following the COP process for many years and attended COP 17 held in Durban, South Africa, in 2011. It is a tremendously complicated political process, so any consensus developed on one level should be seen as a victory. It is historic that the language of transition away from fossil fuels is now formally into text. All this being the result of a COP held in the Middle East, where a large part of those nations’ fiscus stems from oil. I believe this collective acknowledgement probably signals the beginning of the end of fossil fuels, which as we know is targeted for phase out by 2050. But at the end of the day, these agreements are just agreements. What’s going to be important to see is what happens in the markets and in terms of country commitments, and future capital deployments to decarbonise. For fossil fuel majors this implies consolidation and a race to the bottom, as each player seeks to moneytise its assets.