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Algeria

Brief description:

ENERGY & CLIMATE CHANGE - POLICY AND PROGRESS

(This country has no specific CCS policy)

Emissions

The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria signed up to the UNFCCC as a non-Annex 1 Party in 1993 – with no obligations to reduce emissions – and ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2004. Its government has stated publicly its willingness to participate in international efforts to tackle climate change and its impacts.

According to its second national communication (in French only) to the UNFCCC, Algeria emitted a total of 117.3 million tonnes of greenhouse gases during 2000. The energy sector was responsible for about 75% of these emissions, with 20% of that figure coming from the production, processing and transport of hydrocarbons, and 47% down to the electricity generation. Of total emissions, agriculture accounted for 11%, waste emitted 10% and industrial processes 5%.

Hydrocarbons are a major part of Algeria’s economy, with oil and gas forming 60% of its annual revenues and 30% of its gross domestic product. The state oil and gas company is Sonatrach and the country plays host to several international players, including the supermajors BP, Shell and Total.

Government challenges

A study of the vulnerability of Algeria’s economy as a result of climate change formed part of the country’s second report to the UNFCCC. With its semi-arid environment, there is a high risk of desertification and drought, the effects of which are already being felt in some regions.

Other potential impacts include a decline in agricultural production and crop yields, leading to a lack of food security. Algeria currently has around 7 million acres under cultivation, and its staple crops of wheat, barley and oats provide a domestic supply and form part of its export market. 

Other potential impacts include a reduction in green cover with a negative impact on biodiversity, and a range of economic, social and health issues.

The eradication of poverty is a priority for Algeria, and so moves to combat climate change must allow for continued economic development. The government has also raised concerns that any measures to tackle emissions from fossil fuels, such as a global move towards renewables, could damage its economy unless realistic international support is in place.

In order to further develop climate change policy, implement cleaner technologies, reduce GHG emissions and adapt to the effects of global warming, the country has underlined the need for an international sharing of expertise and knowledge.

Government commitments and actions

Since 2000, Algeria has put in place an energy policy and regulatory framework covering mining, fossil fuels and electricity production. The Ministry of Energy has stressed that a move to utilising natural gas for energy production has been made in order to help tackle atmospheric emissions, with the potential to produce 95% of its needs.

There are policies to limit the use of wood in order to protect forests, and promote the development of renewable energies. It has also been tackling the issue of gas flaring at oil fields by enabling Sonatrach to recover higher volumes. This has led to reducing the ration of flaring gas on produced gases from 62% in 1980 to 12% in 2001. Within its second UNFCCC report, the government stated the need to fully eliminate gas flaring.

At the In Salah gas project, CCS infrastructure is already in place that allows the capture and injection of 1.2 million tonnes per annum of CO2 into aquifers within one of the shallow gas reservoirs for the lifetime of the field. Follow the project link below for more details.

In 2008, an Algerian presentation to the UN underlined the need to tackle the negative impacts of climate change through international action that also allowed for social and economic development within developing countries. It stated that the Arab states, including Algeria, were debating specific national and regional policies, such as focusing on the production and use of cleaner fuels like natural gas, improving energy efficiency in all sectors, creating a range of energy sources, and expanding the use of cleaner production technologies. It also called for financial support from wealthier countries to help more vulnerable economies, such as Algeria, develop mitigation and adaptation programmes. It also pointed to the need for national research centres to study the impacts and challenges ahead.

In February 2009, the Minister of Energy addressed a US-Algeria Energy Forum in the US (link to presentation), and outlined two major energy policies that the country intended to develop – namely, the development of renewable energy sources (such as the continued promotion of solar) and the promotion of energy efficiency within all sectors. However, he acknowledged that the country faced a challenge in allocating funds towards renewables, in terms of public acceptance.

International support

As part of the Maghreb regional project - alongside Morocco and Tunisia - Algeria received US$400,000 from the World Bank CCS Trust Fund (see link below) to identify barriers to the implementation of CCS, such as legal and regulatory issues, and to consider the potential for setting up regional CCS networks. More specifically, assessments of the potential for transporting captured CO2 from power plants to the most suitable reservoirs are being undertaken, looking at technical, regulatory and economic issues.

Other information

Ministry of Planning Territory, Environment and Tourism (in French only)

Ministry of Energy and Mining 


Support mechanismes in Algeria:


Projects in Algeria:





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