We actively join international initiatives aimed at implementing sustainability principles. The 2007 UN Climate Neutrality Strategy underscores the advantages of harmonization as a common approach that brings greater impact, lowers transaction costs, leads to the development of common tools, ensures comparability, and facilitates joint decision-making.
Repsol is an active member of the UN Global Compact and the IPIECA Executive Committee, where it works under the framework provided to call on companies to align how sustainability is integrated in their activity. This enables us to anticipate how governments will act by adapting our strategy to national regulations.
The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative is an industry-led partnership whose leaders seek to stimulate the sector's response to the threat of climate change by encouraging net zero emissions and by supporting the objectives of the Paris Agreement. Headed by CEOs from some of the largest energy companies in the world, OGCI members account for more than 30% of global oil and gas production. The OCGI Climate Investment Fund dedicates more than $1 billion to investing in companies that work toward decarbonizing the oil and gas, industrial, and commercial transportation sectors.
Reducing fugitive methane emissions is one of the most relevant issues in our sector: the greenhouse effect of this gas is 21 times more powerful than that of CO2. In order to address this issue, UNEP (United Nations Environment Program) seeks to bring together different sectors through the ‘Climate and Clean Air Coalition’ to commit to improving air quality, and has therefore launched a voluntary initiative to reduce methane emissions, specifically focused on the oil & gas sector. This sector ranks second in terms of methane emissions, after the agriculture sector.
At Repsol, we make efforts to detect and mitigate methane emissions through programs such as Hybrid LDAR (Leak Detection And Repair), which we apply in our exploration and production facilities and in our refineries.
By partaking in this initiative, we strive to boost the analyses of our emission sources, and we develop mitigation plans in order to align ourselves with the best standards available. UNEP offers its support in all these tasks, and also acts as our point of contact with the rest of companies, institutions, and governments that are also part of the initiative, eliminating barriers. This allows us to find technically and economically feasible solutions for a common goal: reducing methane emissions in our facilities.
Estimates by the World Bank show that 140 billion cubic meters of natural gas are burned in flares each year. This means that over 300 million tonnes of CO2 are released into the atmosphere, a similar amount to that emitted by Spain or the state of Alberta, for example. Sending gas to a flare or flaring is a safety measure that prevents overpressure at our facilities. However, at times, for technical or economic reasons, part of the gas production may be flared routinely. The routine flaring of gas means not only increased CO2 emissions but also a loss of production and fuel that is not used in our processes.
By joining this initiative, we are committing to seeking technically and economically viable solutions to minimize routine flaring as soon as possible, and not later than 2030.
Numerous governments, institutions, and other companies in the oil and gas industry are also part of this initiative, so that joining it opens doors for us to cooperate with them in searching for opportunities and developing projects for reducing flaring.
It is important to note that this initiative focuses on routine flaring and not non-routine flaring, which is done for safety reasons but should also be reduced as much as possible.
We have been members of the United Nations Global Compact since 2002. The aim of the Compact is for companies like ours to put into practice and promote the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact on human rights, working conditions, the environment, and the fight against corruption in our strategy and operations.
We also belong to local networks in Spain (Spanish Global Compact Network), Bolivia (Bolivian Corporate Social Responsibility Corporation), and Ecuador (Ecuadorian United Nations Global Compact Network).
The TCFD was established in 2015 by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) at the request of G20 leaders. The FSB is an international organization that monitors and makes recommendations concerning the global financial system.
The TCFD has developed a framework for companies to disclose information regarding the financial impact of climate change-related risks and opportunities. This will help companies integrate this information into their strategy and governance, in addition to associated goals and metrics.
The overall aim is for companies to publish clear, coherent, and substantial information that will prove useful to investors and other stakeholders in their decision-making.
In 2018, our CEO signed on Repsol’s support to the TCFD’s recommendations, which have served as the base for the structure of the climate change section of our management reports since the 2017 version.