Picture of John Abbott

Asia will need much more energy with much less CO2. With countries at different stages of the energy transition, Shell wants to help create a more sustainable energy future for the region, Shell's Downstream Director John Abbott said at the opening of Powering Progress Together in Singapore.

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is great to be back in Singapore.

Singapore has long relied on innovation and forward-thinking to overcome its challenges.

Today, it faces perhaps its toughest challenge: How to continue its economic progress while fulfilling its commitment to the Paris agreement on climate change. The same is true for other parts of Asia.

The International Energy Agency predicts that most of the growth in energy demand will come from developing countries outside the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD. Among them are many countries in Asia.

From 2012 to 2040 the total energy use in OECD countries is likely to rise by some 18%. In comparison, energy demand outside the OECD is expected to rise by a staggering 71%.

In short, Asia will need much more energy with much less CO2. Each country is of course at a different stage of the energy transition. Each country, too, is coming up with its own energy solutions. Let me give you three examples.

Japan derives most of its energy from natural gas, cutting back on nuclear power after the Fukushima tragedy. In transport, the country is exploring hydrogen as an alternative fuel. Last year the government more than doubled its funding for hydrogen cars and infrastructure.

India aims to get 40% of its energy from alternative sources by 2040. These sources include wind, solar, hydro, biogas and ― indeed ― nuclear. Gas will play an important role as well. In transport, biofuels are one of the alternatives used to lower emissions.

And China, my final example, is working towards an energy mix with less coal, and more renewables and liquefied natural gas. LNG also plays an increasingly important role in transport. China has a fleet of 200,000 LNG powered trucks, the largest in the world. 

Shell wants to help create a more sustainable energy future for Asia, for example by providing liquefied natural gas. LNG is important to Asia. Singapore, for example, gets 95% of its electricity from gas fired power plants. In 2015, it imported 1.2 million tonnes of LNG. 

Gas is a cleaner-burning fuel than coal and a perfect partner to renewables. Even after the process of liquefying, transporting and turning it back into gas, LNG produces around 40% less CO2 than coal ― when burnt for power. Gas is also flexible, abundant and diverse.

Shell is involved at every stage of the LNG process. From finding the fields and extracting natural gas, to liquefying and shipping it, turning the LNG back into gas and distributing it.

But there is more that we can do to help create a lower-carbon future for Asia. Since I am in charge of Shell’s Downstream business, let’s take our retail sites as an example.

By 2025 we will significantly increase the amount of low emission fuels we offer our customers around the world. These fuels will have lower emissions than our current gasoline and diesel.

By this time we also aim to reduce the carbon intensity of our retail outlets by at least 50%. We will do this through low CO2 design, equipment and operations as well as embedding a low carbon mindset.

Retail stations, ladies and gentlemen, are obviously a relatively small part of the global challenge. Changes in energy use will need to happen in virtually every part of society.

Governments, academics, consumers and companies like Shell will need to work together to meet this enormous challenge. This is why the Shell Make the Future festival promotes collaboration.

With its willingness to collaborate and its track record for forward-thinking, Singapore sets a great example in this field. Let us follow in its footsteps, let’s collaborate to make the future.

Thank you for your attention. I wish you all an inspiring day.

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