Beyond Oil & Gas Alliance launches at COP26 with coalition of governments
UK or Scottish governments have not yet become members, though Wales has
By: Anttoni James Numminen
Ministers and representatives of participating governments. Courtesy of AJN.
Glasgow, COP26. Following a scramble between journalists, observers and delegates to get into the press conference room at COP26 in Glasgow, the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (BOGA) was launched.
BOGA is a coalition of participating governments that have committed to delivering a “managed and just transition away from oil and gas production” and has decided on a 2050 deadline on the phase-out of production of oil and gas. It also plans on cancelling all future licensing rounds.
Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Greenland, Ireland, Quebec, Sweden and Wales have joined as full members, while Italy has expressed an interest in joining by becoming "a friend of BOGA".
It is the first state-led initiative in this field and aims to bring the issue of production phase-out to the centre of the international climate discussion. However, the idea of production phase-out itself is not new.
Press conference room at COP26. Courtesy of AJN.
The alliance includes commitments from governments in countries such as Sweden, that they will pass legislation banning the extraction and search for new oil in their countries.
Most of the 10 countries that have signed up, led by Denmark and Costa Rica, are not major oil and gas producers, and the alliance does not include countries such as Russia or Saudi Arabia.
Dan Jørgensen, the Danish Minister for Climate, Energy, and Utilities said: “This is no small ambition, and the proposals are not modest.”
“This effort will be hard and we are not entering this call for the thrill of the challenge, but because we need to and we are unwilling to accept the consequences if do not. The science has spoken, there is no planet B.
“The stone age did not end because of a lack of stones and the fossil fuel era will not end because of a lack of oil and gas in the ground. It will end because governments decide to do the right thing.”
In addition to the full member governments, California and New Zealand are also joining as associate members. BOGA will have a tiered membership programme based on countries’ commitments and actions on ending the production and use of fossil fuels.
Demonstration after the conference. Courtesy of AJN.
Andrea Meza, Costa Rica’s Minister of Environment and Energy added: “This is what it’s all about, the courage to really come with concrete actions. We hear the world outside these walls, the science is clear. We really need to accelerate action.”
The issue of whether participating nations would become more reliant on oil and gas imports from other countries was raised at the launch.
Jørgensen responded by asking: “How can you defend wanting to be carbon neutral in 2050, as some countries want, but still want them to produce oil and gas and sell it to others?”
Scotland’s absence from the alliance was noted, as was the fact, however, that oil and gas production is mainly controlled by the UK government.
Following the launch, the Scottish Green Party’s climate spokesperson Mark Ruskell said: “I have raised the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance with ministers so I am glad Scotland is in discussions to be part of this progressive alliance which is only going to grow over time. It’s a shame we are not signed up on day one, but I will continue to push Ministers to be part of this critical initiative.
“Determining how much fossil fuels Scotland needs and how much we can afford to burn under the Paris Agreement should provide a starting point to draw a line under future oil and gas development in Scotland.”
The Scottish Green Party is currently in a government coalition with the SNP.