Roundtable Discussion with Mr. Santosh Chandra, CEO, EOGEPL, at EY ESG Leadership Dialogues

The ‘ESG Leadership Dialogues’ webinar organised by EY India on November 16, 2021 included Mr. Santosh Chandra, CEO, Essar Oil & Gas Exploration and Production Limited (EOGEPL), as a part of an esteemed panel, discussing the topic ‘Decarbonisation: Leading towards Net Zero!’. The fellow dignitaries on the panel were Mr. Amit Sharma, MD & CEO, Tata Consulting Engineers, Mr. Ashish Bhandari, MD & CEO, Thermax and Mr. Madhav Singhania, Dy. MD & CEO, JK Cement.

ESG is not just a business buzzword but is a gateway for new frontiers of change. EY ESG Leadership Dialogues is a series of six roundtables that focus on the opportunity of ESG and sustainability for businesses.

The interactive roundtable of renowned business leaders exploring how companies can prioritise decarbonisation in their businesses, was moderated by Mr Chaitanya Kalia, Partner and National Leader – Climate Change and Sustainability Services, EY India.

The session emphasised on the importance of leading towards net zero emissions and the changing global energy landscape wherein decarbonisation represents great transformation in the next 10 years. As the energy sector worldwide moves away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy sources, industrial companies are challenged with addressing this transition in transformative ways.

The session kick started with Mr. Chandra giving his take and views on the impact of decarbonisation on the Oil & Gas sector in specific. Leading with an update on Essar’s business, Mr. Chandra moved onto the hot and trending topic of decarbonisation, and was of the opinion that the common notion of the oil & gas sector soon becoming passé, isn’t true.

Mr. Chandra shared his belief that the oil & gas sector, particularly gas, will be a part of the energy mix for several decades to come. He emphasised that the first obvious target to get rid of would be coal. According to him, gas fits in well as people transition from fossil fuels to greener alternatives. He pointed out that as long as gas is environment-friendly, people will use it.

Further into the discussion, touching upon CBM and greenhouse gases affecting the atmosphere, Mr. Chandra underlined that there is a need for our country to do more. He emphasised the need for ESG-driven climate activism which would be challenging. He concluded the discussion with a vision statement, that the eventual aim is to leapfrog into hydrogen and hopefully in the coming 2030s, India will surprise the world with its hydrogen production capabilities.