In 2020, the world faced a substantial disruption due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in an unprecedented 70% decline in global energy consumption during the initial months of the crisis. Consequently, the prices of numerous energy sources plummeted to their lowest levels in decades.
However, as global fuel prices began to recover in 2021, they surged once again in 2022 following Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, presenting a formidable challenge for policymakers. Specifically, prices, especially for natural gas, reached historically high levels due to concerns over potential disruptions in energy trade and future supply.
To delve deeper, Russia held a substantial position in global markets for natural gas, crude oil, and coal, accounting for approximately 20%, 10%, and 5% of global exports in those commodities, respectively. Furthermore, it was deeply integrated into Europe’s markets and distribution networks, supplying 35%, 25%, and 45% of natural gas, crude oil, and coal imports for both the EU and the U.K. combined in 2020. By the conclusion of the first quarter of 2022, crude oil prices had doubled, coal prices had tripled, and natural gas prices had risen more than five-fold in comparison to early 2021.
Instead of giving precedence to social and environmental advantages, oil and gas firms found themselves working hard to present appealing sustainable development reports as a means to safeguard their reputation during challenging times. Consequently, researchers have increasingly concentrated on pinpointing deficiencies in the corporate reporting practices of these companies. Environmentalists and certain U.S. legislators criticized these actions, calling on companies to allocate more resources to support the transition to cleaner energy. Investors who collectively held a substantial $2.3 trillion in equity within the global oil and gas sector began to revise their expectations regarding growth markets more rapidly than the executives of energy firms. Notably, approximately 75% of surveyed investors affirmed their commitment to retaining their shares with the aim of accelerating investments in technologies with lower carbon footprints.
In the ever-evolving global landscape of energy, characterized by environmental concerns, technological advancements, and the pursuit of cleaner energy sources, this report delves into the future prospects of the global gas market and its implications for Lebanon.
Transition to Clean Energy in the Global market