The global climate agreement reached in Paris was a positive step due to the ambitious goals it set out.
The energy sector is expected to respond to a dual challenge: meeting the rising energy needs of a growing population, ensuring adequate access to energy, and limiting its air emissions, in order to contribute to the decarbonization process. Eni scenarios foresee an increased energy demand at global level driven by economy and population growth. By 2040, oil and gas will continue to meet over 50% of energy needs; gas and renewables are the sources with the highest growth rate in the next decades. According to the Eni scenario, world oil demand continues to grow above one million barrels/day per year in the medium term, while after it slows down until plateauing around 110 million barrels per day by 2035. The improvement in efficiency of internal combustion engines and, to a lesser extent, their substitution with alternatives including electric vehicles, will lead to a drop-in consumption for transport by 2040. However, growth in demand by 2040 remains driven by petrochemicals, heavy transport, aviation and shipping, where there are limited or no alternatives to oil products.
In this context, new discoveries and new upstream developments will be necessary in the medium and long term to meet growing needs and counteract the decline in existing production (4-6% a year). Gas, supported by high efficiencies and low emission coefficients of power plants, is the only fossil fuel that is growing in absolute terms in all scenarios envisaged by the IEA, stabilizing after 2030 only in the SDS scenario. Growth in gas consumption will be driven by industry and power, where gas replaces fuels with greater environmental impact, and by non OECD Countries, for many of which, gas represents an immediate response to increasing energy needs.
In December 2015, the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC) organised the Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris with the aim of signing a binding and universal climate agreement for post-2020, when the second period of the Kyoto Protocol is due to expire. On 12 December 2015, the 196 participating countries agreed on a global agreement called the Paris Accords, which aims to speed up the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions with the maximum cooperation of all countries. For Eni, the agreement is an extremely positive step by virtue of the ambitious objectives that emerged, the will of industrialised countries to financially support developing countries and the commitment by almost all governments to present National Voluntary Plans for emission reductions. The plans (the so-called NDCs Nationally Determined Contributions) of developing countries are of particular interest to Eni because they can represent a long-term point of reference for national energy and economic policies, useful for the structuring of local development projects.
The Paris Climate Change Agreement came into force on 4 November 2016, less than a year after its adoption by COP 21. The ratification of the Treaty by at least 55 countries/parties, responsible for at least 55% of the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions needed for the entry into force of the agreement, took much longer than expected. The 22nd UN Climate Conference (COP 22) took place in Marrakesh in Morocco, from 7 to 18 November 2016. Ahead of the COP22 in Marrakech, in November 2016, also Italy ratified the Paris Agreement, with a law drafted by the Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Foreign Affairs; (the technical details of which are yet to be finalised). COP 23 was held in Bonn and presided over by Fiji. In a speech Prime Minister and incoming COP23 President Mr. Frank Bainimarama commented: “This is a very stark and effective message to take to the world. The need for us all to come together to build partnerships for climate action between governments, civil society and the private sector. And work together to improve the climate resilience of vulnerable nations such as Fiji”. During the COP24 held in Katowice, Eni subscribed to the Katowice Declaration on Sound Carbon Accounting, the declaration promoted by the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) for the introduction of a consistent, reliable and transparent system for counting carbon emissions trading between countries, companies, organizations and communities as part of the Paris Agreement on climate change.