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Young generation of oil and gas professionals discuss the energy transition

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The Hague, 22 October 2020 – This week sees the launch of the ‘Young Energy Officers’ programme, a new initiative involving twelve young professionals from the Dutch oil and gas sector. In the coming period, the Young Energy Officers will be talking to many different parties about the enormous challenge we face as a society: the energy transition. The transition is needed to drastically reduce CO2 emissions by 2050 and to meet the climate targets that have been set. But there are many choices that will have to be made along the way. In order to determine the right path, we – as a society – must discuss the choices we face and the dilemmas involved. The Young Energy Officers are keen to discuss these dilemmas with the knowledge and experience they have gained as energy professionals in the oil and gas industry.
‘Today's decisions will have an enduring impact’
Roman van Laak, of Neptune Energy, is one of the Young Energy Officers . He believes it is important that young professionals from the oil and gas sector participate actively in the discussion about the energy transition. “The energy transition is at the heart of the national debate, and I see on a daily basis how complex it is to supply the Netherlands with safe and affordable energy. There are no easy solutions or choices in this energy transition. What we should not lose sight of is that the decisions we take now will have an enduring impact on all of us,” says Van Laak. “Everyone is feeling the consequences of climate change. Young people in the energy sector have a fresh view of the challenges and opportunities. This is why the Young Energy Officers and I want to talk to society at large about the path to a sustainable energy supply and the role that we and our sector can play in this. ”

Difficult dilemmas
A recent survey among over 1,800 Dutch citizens showed that 60% of young people (aged 18 to 34) are still unfamiliar with the energy transition despite the fact that difficult choices have to be made in this transition that will affect everyone in society and will have a major impact on the future of young people. For example, if we produce less gas in the Netherlands, this immediately means we will need to increase gas imports. Gas that we know has a higher Co2 footprint. The survey revealed that 81% of Dutch people agree that we are less dependent on foreign countries because the Netherlands produces its own natural gas. The study also showed that Dutch citizens are either positive or neutral about national gas production, but they prefer small-field production in the offshore area. Such dilemmas call for a broad dialogue, in which the specialist knowledge and drive of young people in today's energy supply sector can provide important input.

Young Energy Officers programme
The new Young Energy Officers programme will see participants talk to all stakeholders in the transition, including policymakers, NGOs, people working in the industry and opinion leaders. The group itself consists of young people from diverse backgrounds representing various companies in the Dutch oil and gas sector.

The Young Energy Officers programme is an initiative of NOGEPA, the industry association for the oil & gas sector. Pooja Peters, coordinator of the YEO programme: “The opinion and contribution of young people is particularly important for the development of our industry. As an industry association, we consider it very important to support these young people by ensuring that their opinions form part of the discussions in our ‘inner and outer world’.


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