– Many people want to talk to us – E24

– Many people want to talk to us – E24

Dubai (E24): There were no more oil players at the climate summit. Norwegian Equinor and Aker believe they should be present.

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The sun dazzles economist Fridtjof Onander and communications director Marian Stigst as they emerge from the conference room.

They have a passport around their neck that gives them unique access, better access than civic organizations get.

This year, Equinor and Aker were invited by the Norwegian government for the first time.

More than 2,400 representatives from the oil, coal and gas industry – a record number – are attending this year’s climate summit in Dubai, according to Reuters. BBC.

Fridtjof Onander, chief economist at Aker Horizon, is here closely guarded by communications director Marianne Stigst.

The climate summit began just before the weekend, and accusations have been pouring in against leader Sultan Al Jaber, who serves as the day-to-day head of one of the world’s largest oil companies. According to the BBC, the UAE had plans to exploit the climate summit For oil deals.

According to Onander, chief economist at Kjell Inge Røkke’s renewable energy company Aker Horizons, the company is only participating in the climate summit to “make things happen.”

Unander is eagerly publishing the solutions the company is working on in offshore wind and carbon capture – solutions that will contribute to lower emissions.

But he prefers not to talk about Al Jaber and the leaks at the BBC.

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– I don’t know what truth it contains, so I have no comment on it, says Onander.

– You’re not coming to get any oil deals?

– no. I can confirm that.

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– If it were the case that the oil and gas industry came here with real ambitions to reduce emissions, there would be no problem, says Christian Eriksen, a specialist at the Bellona Environmental Foundation.

He does not trust that the oil players are only at the summit for honorable purposes.

Bellona's Christian Eriksen interrupted an interview with Acker to lose his temper.  He tried to start a discussion about seabed mining with Unander.

A potential solution is for more renewable energy companies to be able to get to the top, says Statkraft CEO Christian Renning-Teunissen. He misses the company of many like-minded people.

– What worries me is that there will be enough renewable energy. He says there are a number of renewable energy companies here, but there could be more.

This card provides better access to negotiations than that granted to civil society.  Here at Statkraft CEO Christian Renning Teunissen.

Representatives from various climate and human rights organizations believe the participation of so many people from oil, coal and gas backgrounds this year is a democratic problem.

– Wealthy countries of the North and the fossil industry are overrepresented, says Elise Asness of the environmental organization Spire to E24.

It is supported by the organizations Changemakers and Slug.

Elise Asness, Spire Director (to.h.), Julie Rudge, Dina Iversen and Marty Hansen Hogan react to the entry of the oil players.  They follow negotiations and provide input on behalf of civil society organizations.

While civil society is placed in “observer roles” in the lobby, companies with their own passports from the government have access to larger parts of the negotiations.

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Asnes says the power and presence of the fossil industry is growing, while the influence of civil society is stagnating.

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He rejects oil meetings

On the same day as Energy Day at the summit, a potential agreement to put an end to fossil energy is being discussed. There are divided opinions on whether the oil industry itself should be involved in influencing the negotiations.

Equinor Summit Erin Rummelhof says the climate summit is a good place to meet with Equinor, but denies that the company has meetings on fossil fuels.

“There are many people who want to talk to us, especially regarding carbon and hydrogen capture,” says Rummelhof between bilateral meetings with other companies and the so-called planning of evening dinners.

Equinor director Erin Rummelhoff says Equinor is not at the climate summit to talk about oil and gas.

This year’s edition of the Climate Summit is the ninth in a row in which Equinor is participating. But what’s new this year is that the company is part of the official Norwegian government platform.

“It feels better” than in previous years, Rummelhoff says.

-It was very frustrating for us. We in the energy industry are responsible for the largest emissions, and we want to do something about it. And then not inviting those here who can do something about this, I think that seems a little unfair, really, as you say.

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According to Rummelhof, all the meetings she attends revolve around renewable energy.

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– She says: – I don’t have meetings here that focus on fossil fuels.

-Did Equinor enter into any oil and gas agreements during the years it was involved?

– no. “I can’t guarantee it, but I can’t imagine it,” Rummelhoff says.

Rummelhof travels as one of a total of seven Equinor employees.  At the climate summit held in Dubai this year, nearly 70,000 people registered.

She explains:

We have many other arenas to enter into this type of agreement, so why waste such an opportunity to talk about important matters.

Equinor spokesman Magnus Frantzen Eidsvold said later in the day that the company had not entered into oil and gas agreements at climate summits.

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It will promote solutions

Fridtjof Onander, chief economist at Aker Horizon, believes it is important for industry and business to be present in climate negotiations.

It’s about highlighting solutions. There is much greater participation than ever before from the business community. I think this is a very positive sign. Because it shows that you’re going to work with the solutions you need, says Onander.

Aker's Fridtjof Onander has also become a household name at climate summits.  This is the third year in a row that Akar has traveled to attend the conference.

He refuses to allow Al-Aker to use pressure powers in the negotiating rooms.

– of course not. We work towards our solutions.

“We understand that all the other players we meet here are interested in this,” he says.

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Response to the entry of oil into the climate summit

– Not the place for oil deals

Oil and Energy Minister Terje Aasland, who is spending two days at the summit, says he is happy to see fossil players in attendance.

– He says it is a good thing that they are here listening to the discussions and offering solutions.

Among the discussions in which Åsland participates, there are many businessmen who would like to talk to him in particular.

Oil and Energy Minister Terje Aasland (AFP), here with Hydro PR Gustav Sastad, who rushed after him during an event.

At the same time, the Oil Minister admits that it is not in good taste to enter into oil agreements during the climate summit.

– This is not the appropriate place to conclude oil and gas agreements. It’s the place for good solutions on how to achieve climate goals.

He himself has come to promote carbon capture, hydrogen and offshore wind, like Equinor and Acre.

– Can Norway manage the balancing act of pushing renewable energy sources while at the same time continuing with oil and developing carbon capture?

– I think this government has shown that, says Åsland.

Oil and Energy Minister Terje Aasland is at the climate summit to promote carbon capture and storage - like Aker and Equinor.
Hanisi Anenih

Hanisi Anenih

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