Message from IGU President, Dr. Joo-Myung Kang
Since the landmark agreement at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris in 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement have stimulated countries, industries and each of us to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, while providing the energy that powers our lives.
As the world pays more attention than ever to environmental issues, the energy industry is undergoing a huge scale of adjustments which are set to transform the energy paradigm. In such an unpredictably evolving era of the energy mix, it might be a good idea to look back and learn lessons from history.
The industrial revolution was triggered by energy evolution. In the mid-18th century, the coal-burning steam engine was invented, followed by the first industrial revolution. The internal combustion engine using oil led to the second industrial revolution.
The next energy transition is already underway as natural gas complements renewables from the perspective of cleaner energy and thanks to the emergence of shale gas as an energy resource.
In that regard, natural gas will play a leading role in compensating for intermittence in solar or wind power supply and rapidly responding to global increases in demand, while lowering greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality. In other words, it is one of the few compliable energy sources that can be used across all sectors of the global economy to generate electricity, provide heat for essential industrial processes, heat homes and fuel the transport of people and goods.
In its main scenario, the IEA expects the use of natural gas to increase by 45% over the next 25 years. Developing countries are expected to account for 80% of this growth.
The development of the third energy revolution is likely to see extensive use of gas-related technology and innovative breakthroughs in renewable technology. A “heyday of natural gas” is just around the corner.
Theme and strategic focus
Reflecting the aforementioned evolution in the energy paradigm and transformation in the energy industry, the theme of the Korean Presidency culminating in the 28th World Gas Conference in 2021 will be “A Sustainable Future – Powered by Gas”. We will develop three areas of strategic focus: Environmental Leadership, Market Vitality and Value Creation.
Since COP21, there has been a growing need to address environmental challenges. The USA Presidency has been doing great work to raise the public acceptance of natural gas as clean energy. With Environmental Leadership, we will consistently make efforts to convince the international community that natural gas is key to a sustainable future. In the energy transition era, promoting the competitiveness of natural gas is tremendously important. By removing barriers in the energy market, natural gas will become more affordable, ensuring Market Vitality and flexibility.
As our strategic focus areas are not limited to an increase in demand for natural gas, we are more committed to taking a holistic approach in our triennium, which is Value Creation.
Technological innovations will be encouraged, along with growing collaboration with renewables. Moreover, improving the accessibility of natural gas in energy-poor countries, or to put it another way, alleviating energy poverty, is of great significance in adding a new value to natural gas.
As President, I will keep abreast of changes and trends in the gas industry and develop a timely strategy to cope with gas-related dilemmas and challenges together with IGU members. I will also continuously conform to IGU’s mission and vision in three ways: prioritisation of members’ interests, legitimacy of administrative procedures and transparency of management.
International Gas Union
As a worldwide non-profit organization that was founded in 1931 the mission of IGU is to advocate gas as an integral part of a sustainable global energy system and to promote the political, technical and economic progress of the gas industry.
More than 160 members which are associations and corporations of the gas industry representing over 94% of the global gas market.
The working organisation of IGU covers the complete gas value chain from exploration and production, transmission via pipelines and liquefied natural gas (LNG) as well as distribution and combustion of gas at the point of use.
IGU has the vision of being the most influential, effective and independent non-profit organization, serving as the spokesperson for the gas industry worldwide.
For more information about IGU, please visit www.igu.org