Interview – Sir Mark Moody Stuart

As part of our Morning Chat with Mosoj program, we met with Sir Mark Moody Stuart, former Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell, and non-executive director of Anglo-American plc, and more importantly a long-time advocate of sustainable development. Interestingly, Mark is both Vice-Chair of the UN Global Compact board and a board director of Saudi Aramco, the Oil giant. It is this duality of an altruist and businessman, often put in opposition, that is fascinating and transpires throughout this interview. Mark is indeed a truly remarkable person, armed with immense knowledge, and he helps us to catch a glimpse of the future.

Energy transition: Peak demand is real!

Is sustainability gaining ground? Yes definitely, but it’s a process. Who is shaping the future? China is a significant force, and its belt and road initiative can be positive. What about South America? There is an accelerated energy transition, and peak-demand is a reality, which is a challenge. What are the opportunities then? In a low-carbon world, Argentina has excellent prospects, and lithium is very important. How do we achieve sustainable development? Regional planning to tackle the energy transition, and businesses should seek an alliance with civil society… “to meet the need of the present while not compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs”.

Key takeaways:

  • Peak demand is a coming reality
  • We are a couple of million barrels a day away from it
  • It’s a big challenge for international oil companies who will need to transform
  • The speed of transition is driven by technology, cost and convenience
  • China will play a significant role in that, particularly with EV and hydrogen technological development
  • Argentina has an excellent prospect as it has light crude and shale gas
  • Infrastructure is key for poverty reduction, and China’s belt and road initiative could be positive
  • Sustainability investment is indeed taking ground. It is a process.
  • Businesses need to deliver an acceptable return on investment and protect their long-term value
  • Taking sustainable values into account protects the long-term value of an investment
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