In 2020, the global energy system experienced one of its biggest shocks in recent history, causing a sector-wide economic contraction. Globally, the sharp decline in economic activity due to Covid-19 resulted in a dramatic drop in the world’s energy demand. Despite a slight recovery, the era of low prices for hydrocarbons seems to be here to stay for longer. While the ongoing economic downturn has led to a temporary reduction in global emissions, in the MENA region governments are struggling to continue along the way of a decisive low-carbon strategy in the face of higher financial constraints. At the same time, governments cannot support the energy transition alone, confirming the need for deeper cooperation between public and private entities. Ultimately, the pandemic has not only exposed the limits of high dependence on fossil fuels but also highlighted the advantages for a greener energy transition, making it one of the top mid-to-long-term priorities for the MENA region and beyond.
Tarek el-Molla, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Egypt
Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismail, Minister of Oil, Iraq; Director General, Basra Oil Company
Joseph McMonigle, Secretary General, International Energy Forum (IEF)
Andrea Cabrini, Class CNBC