• Are Some Oil Producers Avoiding COP26?


Are Some Oil Producers Avoiding COP26?

Nov 10 2021

In an article published by the Financial Times, Michael Stott accused Mexico and Brazil of backtracking on key “climate and energy policies at a crucial time” and failing to attend the COP26 summit held in Glasgow.

Both Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro failed to make an appearance at the international conference attended by more than 120 world leaders, despite being major contributors to climate change.

After Bolsonaro dissolved important environmental laws, deforestation in Brazil and the Amazon region soared and trigged a surge in carbon emissions. López Obrador has also received widespread criticism for channelling billions of pounds into the construction of an enormous oil refinery. He also plans to ramp up oil production in Mexico and support state-run electricity plants powered by non-renewable fossil fuels.

Latin American nations going in the “wrong direction”

The absence of these two world leaders was condemned by climate activists such as Lisa Viscidi. “For those two countries, I think definitely things are going in the wrong direction in terms of emissions,” said Viscidi, founding Director of the Energy, Climate Change and Extractive Industries Program at the Inter-American Dialogue.

While some Latin American nations have failed to step up, others have been praised for their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. Chile is a top performer, with the county using its natural photovoltaic (PV) heat and strong winds to generate clean energy.

China and Russia fail to make an appearance at COP26

China and Russia have also been noticeably absent at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference. US President Joe Biden slammed the leaders of both countries for skipping the summit, stressing climate change is a “gigantic issue” and accusing China and Russia of turning their backs on their responsibilities. More than 120 world leaders have made an appearance at the Glasgow summit, though Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping were not in attendance.

“The fact that China is trying to assert, understandably, a new role in the world as a world leader - not showing up, come on," said Biden in a speech made at the summit, adding that failing to attend the conference was a “big mistake” that will have repercussions for both countries.

The oil and gas industry is under increasing pressure to slash its environmental footprint and cut greenhouse gas emissions. Methane is a major concern, released into the atmosphere by leaks during the drilling and production processed, as well as when natural gas is vented or flared. Find out more about the state-of-the-art analyser systems being used to detect methane leaks from pipelines in ‘Drone-based gas leak detection is taking off’.

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