EO100™ 2023 Year in Review and Outlook

2023 was a year of significant growth and transition for Equitable Origin (EO).

As of late December, Assessors had certified 13 companies across 17 sites, covering over 15 billion cubic feet per day of gas, or roughly 15% of US and Canadian production. This is a doubling of scale and impact from last year at this time. It includes the fifth largest shipper of LNG in the world, PETRONAS, achieving certification of 100% of their Canadian gas production assets in the last weeks of the year, as well as our Beta test of midstream certification with operator National Fuel Gas-Midstream. Today we are in active dialogue with producers and operators on three continents about certification.

2023 is also when climate change came into sharp focus. During this warmest year in human history, 190 nations aligned at COP 28 on commitments to triple Renewable Energy capacity and to reduce consumption and production of fossil fuels in a just, orderly and equitable manner so as to achieve net zero by 2050. Particular weight was placed on eliminating methane emissions across the natural gas value chain.

The role of natural gas in the energy transition is highly-contested and justly so. EO’s model of global standards and expert independent certification will be essential in helping to credibly-differentiate better performance.  If each molecule of hydrocarbon competes for a share of a shrinking carbon budget, EO will be key in separating out molecules that have the smallest footprint and offer the greatest benefit to communities. Our partnership with MiQ enables operators to undertake both certifications at reduced cost and disruption, combining our broad ESG coverage with their laser-focus on methane abatement.

All energy infrastructure imposes impacts and creates benefits. In the face of accelerated build out of renewables, many of the same harms as previous waves of energy development risk being repeated, as EO highlighted in 2016 in assessing social opposition to wind projects in Oaxaca, Mexico. Based on our experience and with help from expert advisors, EO is working to release Renewable Energy Standards for wider review early in 2024. Our grid-scale Wind and Solar standards will help developers more-credibly address social and environmental challenges, and their investors and host communities to shape project outcomes, while helping unblock vital low-carbon energy.

Our Centre for Strengthening Indigenous Rights digital inclusion programs in Ecuador, Peru and Mexico continue to gain traction and recognition. CEFO Director Joaquin Wray was a featured speaker at the IEEE/ITU Connecting the Unconnected conference this November, an honour granted for winning the Best Overall Gender Inclusion Program.  Our FPIC-360° Tool has been adopted by USAID and we are exploring in-depth deployment in Latin America with a global mining company.

Finally, it has been a year of leadership team transition and growth for EO. The superbly-qualified Jennifer Turner and  Deborah David took on program leadership for Certification, and for Latin America and Operations respectively; and Soledad Mills stepped down from the CEO role after over 10 years of visionary work.

I am thrilled to take on leadership of this extraordinary team at this unique moment in time. In my formative experience as an intern at the World Commission on Dams in 2000, I learned that too often, those who bear the risks and costs from energy development do not share equitably in the benefits, nor have a voice in the decisions that affect them. EO was established to shift this balance.

Whether you are an energy producer, investor, project-affected stakeholder, Tribe or Nation, we look forward to shifting the balance with you. 

Sincerely yours,

Jason Switzer