Calgary Welcomes World Petroleum Congress for Net Zero Energy Transition Talks


The city of Calgary is playing host to a five-day conference, convening key figures from the global energy sector at the BMO Centre and Big Four buildings in Stampede Park. This significant gathering, known as the World Petroleum Congress, holds sessions every three years, with its last appearance in Calgary occurring in 2003.

Among the substantial international contingent, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its Energy Minister have secured a large area at the BMO Centre to highlight their contributions to the industry. Moreover, Qatar Energy is to be represented at the event, which is expected to gather approximately 5,000 delegates thereby generating an estimated $80 million in economic activity for Calgary.

Jyoti Gondek, the mayor of the host city, emphasized the global relevance and urgency of energy production, alluding to the pressing realities of international conflict. She insisted on the importance of ensuring energy availability to nations in a secure, safe, and affordable manner.

This year, the focal point of the conference delves into ‘Energy Transition – The Path to Net Zero.’ The shift signals a new direction for the congress, which according to Denis Painchaud, the president and CEO, has never before considered a climate-linked theme. Compared to the industry realities and sentiments during the conference in 2000, Painchaud notes a considerable shift. The transitions and strategies of the current energy climate contrast with the former preoccupations around optimization of oil extraction and economy of market transportation.

Mayor Gondek’s echoed intention for the congress centers around presenting Calgary as a viable city for businesses committed to the journey toward net zero. With a spotlight on transformation within the energy sphere, she identified Calgary as a city enriched with the necessary talent.

Coinciding with the start of the congress, over 100 protesters gathered outside city hall addressing climate change concerns, the impacts of emissions on the planet, and events like the historic wildfires that devastated Alberta and British Columbia during the summer.

Organiser Joe Vipond voiced his hopes of reaching the participating oil company executives with his message, critiquing the contrast between announcing a net zero target and ongoing elevated production, which currently lacks a satisfactory strategy for managing combustion emissions.

President and CEO, Painchaud, acknowledged the protest, encouraging the activists to engage with the conference and its conversations on the transition to net zero. The conference’s proceedings shall conclude on Thursday, with a media availability session featuring Premier Danielle Smith scheduled for Monday.


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