LONDON—Addressing the issue of climate change stood at the forefront for many oil and gas executives during the International Petroleum (IP) Week conference, held Feb. 25-27 by London-based Energy Institute.

While such topics have featured on the agenda at energy conferences for some time, the way climate dominated the first day of this year’s IP Week discussions illustrated the increasing sense of urgency among the oil and gas industry in addressing the issue. It was clear from discussions that a number of challenges stand in the way, and some remain skeptical over the industry’s ability to turn words into action.

Nonetheless, speakers—who included oil industry executives as well as climate experts and environmental advocacy groups—urged delegates to take the lead in addressing what was frequently described as a climate emergency or crisis. Discussions centered on an urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and came against the backdrop of an oil market so oversupplied that crude prices have stayed low despite a number of supply shocks in recent months. 

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