BY MADUABUCHI EFEGADI
Italian energy giant Eni says it is convinced that it is on track via its contribution and objectives for a just energy transition, with a view to sharing social and economic results on its path to carbon neutrality by 2050.
Claudio Descalzi, Eni’s chief executive officer, said the company strongly feels the responsibility to contribute to giving access to energy to all, supporting the development of the countries where it is present, and contributing to the achievement of the highest ambitions of the Paris Agreement.
“This commitment is stronger today, in light of the war in Ukraine, at a historical moment when it is necessary to be even more inclusive and not divisive, seeking the common good and increasing efforts to ensure Europe’s energy security, while accelerating the decarbonisation process,” Descalzi said in Eni’s 16th voluntary sustainability report that outlines the company’s sustainability results and targets reached in 2021.
The report addresses the Italian energy company’s commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050, focusing on its strategies and main climate targets, sustainability performance, which provides an overview of its environmental, social and governance indicators.
Eni, whose subsidiary Saipem is the core investor in Nigeria’s latest major effort at gas liquefaction, the $7 billion NLNG Train 7 project in Rivers State, said specifically, with regards to the 2050 carbon neutrality strategy, it is announcing a 35 percent reduction in net scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 2030, and 80 percent by 2040 with respect to 2018 levels, compared to the –25 percent and -65 percent targets in the previous plan.
For net scope 1 and 2 emissions, the company will achieve –40 percent by 2025 compared to 2018 levels; and net zero emissions by 2035, five years ahead of the previous plan. It will also increase the share of investments dedicated to new energy solutions, targeting 30 percent by 2025, doubling to 60 percent by 2030, and reaching 80 percent by 2040, the company said.
It said, in achieving decarbonisation goals, increasing attention is paid to the concept of “just transition”, namely managing the impact of the energy transformation on people, starting with direct and indirect workers, and including communities and customers.
The 2021 report also provided an overview of the projects and initiatives adopted by the Milan based energy giant to ensure a fair transition. It said these are part of the constant evolution of its business activities, which include the conversion of refineries into biorefineries, forest conservation projects, the development of renewables, and the creation of agri-hubs that will provide feedstock for biorefineries, creating jobs and supporting the development of new activities in the countries of presence.
However, with respect to the above, some environmentalists and development experts in Port Harcourt, Nigeria’s oil hub, told Business A.M. that Eni should replicate in Nigeria what it has listed as its commitment to decarbonisation worldwide. They quickly recall that Eni’s Nigerian subsidiary Saipem has engaged in some oil business in the Niger Delta region which left its host communities and the environment badly worsted.
“Eni should do well to replicate its global objectives in Nigeria. We should not see any different parameter in Nigeria, compared to its global operations,” one environmentalist told our newspaper in Port Harcourt.
Eni said it has also strengthened its partnerships with international organisations for development cooperation. The main initiatives for the communities carried out in 2021 include activities aimed at improving access to water for the population of Basra, Iraq, economic diversification projects in the agricultural sector in Angola, Congo and Nigeria, and projects to support local and youth entrepreneurship in Egypt.
It said its commitment to promoting education and professional training remains central, as shown by the initiatives in Angola, Egypt, Iraq, Mexico and Mozambique.