OPEC creates global energy, development laws

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OPEC Secretary General, Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has said it will create global energy and development laws for the provision of energy and development for all.

This was disclosed by the OPEC Secretary General, Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo as OPEC Secretariat held the Second annual OPEC legal workshop, in cooperation with the Energy Charter Secretariat (ECS) and the OPEC Fund for International Development, under the theme “The Law of the Energy Transition,” via videoconference.

The workshop is the outcome of constructive collaboration between OPEC, the ECS, and the OPEC Fund. In its second instalment, the workshop served as a platform to discuss and exchange information on important and timely issues, building on the success of last year’s inaugural meeting.

In his remarks, OPEC Secretary General, highlighted the importance of organizing this workshop in today’s difficult times, noting, “The legal issues surrounding the energy world are wide ranging and variable, particularly in the midst of the ‘energy transition.”

The Secretary General added that “the legal landscape can present significant challenges.

“We are building a new edifice, and the foundation must be solid before the walls are put up. A successful transition requires clear regulatory frameworks, as well as ambitious efforts by all stakeholders.”

Barkindo said “For no one to be left behind in the energy transition, we will need as an entire global society to create fair laws and regulations, which ensure access to energy and modern development for all.

“As a cross-cutting goal supporting all the other Sustainable Development Goals, SDG 7 on energy should be carefully and entirely considered in this regard.

“The energy transition is characterized by uncertainty and rapid change, thus it is essential to shed some light on the regulatory framework and its potential evolution, in order to provide guidance in these times of transformation.”

In underlining the risk facing future energy security, the Secretary General said: “Research shows that oil has an essential role to play in the energy landscape for decades to come. However, a lack of investment in our industry may pose a threat to future energy security.”

The Secretary General thanked Dr Urban Rusnák, Secretary General of the ECS, and Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa, Director-General of the OPEC Fund, for their key role in setting up the second instalment of this profound and educational workshop.

Barkindo concluded his remarks by quoting famous lawyer Henry Miller, who said: “The legal system is often a mystery, and we, its priests, preside over rituals baffling to everyday citizens.”

The First OPEC-ECS-OPEC Fund Annual Legal Workshop was held in October 2019, with a goal to continue hosting the workshop on a regular basis.