GECF secretary general on the natural power of cooperation

By Editor


Demographics today are evolving fast. The global population is getting larger and more urban. Mega sprawls are turning into super cities. Today, Cairo, Mumbai, Beijing, and Dhaka all have close to 20 million inhabitants. By 2050, the United Nations (UN) estimates that the global population will be 9.8 billion. In that same year, according to the projections by the UN Population Division, over 80 percent of the population in the emerging markets will be part of the urban fabric.

This supreme concentration of people over select territories brings the greatest of challenges as well as opportunities for a world still picking up the pieces from the 2007-2008 Financial crisis and now the 2019 Coronavirus pandemic.

In a significantly transformed landscape, integration and cooperation among the stakeholders is the key to drive and sustain the world populations of tomorrow.


The Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) is an international governmental organisation of 20 Member Countries – Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Angola, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Norway, Oman, Peru, and the United Arab Emirates, which jointly represent 72% of the proven gas reserves, 46 percent of its marketed production, 55 percent of pipeline, and 61 percent of LNG exports across the globe.

Being a foremost energy association, officially established in 2008, the GECF has recorded notable milestones in its evolution and remains committed to supporting its Member Countries in the pursuit of global energy security and meeting the world’s growing energy demand, while proving to be reliable suppliers of natural gas – a prominent contributor in the global pursuit towards net-zero emissions energy systems and attainment of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

The Forum provides granular, scientifically based insights into the state of natural gas based on the diverse variety of the instruments and deliverables such as the GECF Global Gas Model – now with elements of artificial intelligence and digital technologies, Global Gas Outlook 2050, Annual Short-Term Gas Market Report, Special Envoys on Data and Statistics, Data Exchange Mechanism, Short-, Medium-, and Long-Term Gas Market Reviews, and Monthly, Quarterly, and Annual Statistical Bulletins.

The GECF increasingly engages with UN agencies, the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable growth, ASEAN, Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), OPEC, Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC), African Petroleum Producers’ Organisation (APPO), International Energy Forum (IEF), International Energy Agency (IEA), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Latin American Energy Organisation (OLADE), International Gas Union (IGU), and other peers and regional entities.


Taking inspiration from the Declaration of Malabo of the 5th GECF Gas Summit of the Heads of State and Government that took place in Equatorial Guinea in November 2019 – a first-of-its-kind event in Africa – the GECF is emphasising cooperation within African countries to use gas as the core source of energy in their development programmes and climate change policies, with the aim to overcome energy poverty and enhance development.

This principle of cooperation is all the more important in Africa, where Egypt is located, as two in three Africans do not have access to energy. Over 40 percent of global gas discoveries between 2011 and 2019 were in Africa: immense finds in East Africa (Mozambique and Tanzania), were followed by more in Egypt, West Africa in Mauritania and Senegal, and in South Africa. Hence, by 2050, almost one-fifth of the increase in global natural gas production, is set to be sourced from Africa. These resources offer new opportunities for Africa’s energy and industrial development.

In regards to climate change, the GECF recognises that concerns around environmental preservation are key drivers for the future energy configurations. In this regard we have identified a real opportunity to strengthen cooperation and share best practices between Member Countries to improve the environmental footprint of the gas-related activities. Our EKS (Environmental Knowledge and Solutions) framework, under which we collect best practices on environmental safeguarding, illustrates this commitment.

Ultimately, the art of promotion of natural gas does not lie in selling the idea of its clean, affordable, and abundant attributes; it is indeed a naturally cleaner fuel, but in proving that when various stakeholders find common ground enormous progress can be achieved in bringing a resilient and reliable source of energy to the masses, so they can prosper and flourish.

By Yury Sentyurin, secretary general of GECF (Gas Exporting Countries Forum)

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