Atul Arya

S&P Global

Senior Vice President & Chief Energy Strategist

Atul Arya, Senior Vice President and Chief Energy Strategist, S&P Global, is responsible for integrating energy content, analysis, and insights across the entire energy value chain and for c-suite client engagements. The Energy division has an international presence, with over 500 colleagues and office locations on five continents. Legacy product brands including CERA, Herold, Purvin & Gertz, McCloskey, and EER are now part of the Energy business. Dr. Arya’s areas of expertise include business strategy, commercial analysis, oil markets, energy technologies, climate change, and renewables. He has previously led Energy Insight, Research and Analysis and Energy Research teams at IHS Markit. Dr. Arya has over 30 years of leadership experience in the energy industry, including senior posts with BP. His international career spans a diverse array of energy fields from strategy development and business planning to field operations and technology commercialization. His experience includes leadership in solar energy development as well as the oil and gas sector. Dr. Arya has previously served on boards of several companies and institutions, including Tata BP Solar, Green Mountain Energy, and National Council for Atmospheric Research. He was a member of the World Economic Forum’s Agenda Council on the Future of Oil and Gas and Adjunct Senior Fellow at Council on Foreign Relations in the United States. He is a regular speaker and moderator at public conferences, company boards, and at CERAWeek. Dr. Arya holds doctorate in engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

Sessions With Atul Arya

Monday, 7 March

  • 12:00pm - 01:15pm (CST) / 07/mar/2022 06:00 pm - 07/mar/2022 07:15 pm

    Luncheon & Dialogue: Energy Markets in Upheaval

    Panel Energy Transition/Climate & Sustainability

    Keynote address.

  • 01:25pm - 02:05pm (CST) / 07/mar/2022 07:25 pm - 07/mar/2022 08:05 pm

    The Dual Challenge: Economic growth & energy transition

    Panel Energy Transition/Climate & Sustainability

    The next 20 years will be critical to provide clean, reliable, and affordable energy to the growing world population. United Nations’ estimates suggest that per capita energy consumption at approximately 100 Gigajoules is associated with substantial human development. Today, 80% of the world’s population live in countries with energy consumption below this level. Reducing that number to one-third of the population by 2040 would require around 65% more energy. The United States, Europe, and China have been the major emitters while developing Asia and Africa per capita energy use and GHG emissions are very low. In order to meet their citizens’ economic aspirations, these countries require a bigger share of the remaining carbon budget. While the phrase “just transition” is currently in vogue, what does it mean to you? Multilateral development banks have stopped or will soon stop lending for hydrocarbon projects; will this approach reduce emissions? There was renewed commitment at Glasgow to provide $100 billion climate finance annually. Many have called this a floor, not a ceiling. What is needed to fast track climate finance? While coal is the single largest source of emissions and a major fuel in many developing countries, how can we accelerate phasing out coal? Globally, renewables are now cost competitive, however, borrowing costs for clean energy projects are significantly higher in emerging economies than OECD. How could this risk premium be reduced to attract investment in developing countries? How should the global energy industry meet this dual challenge?

  • 02:10pm - 02:50pm (CST) / 07/mar/2022 08:10 pm - 07/mar/2022 08:50 pm

    Strategies to Get to Net Zero

    Panel Markets/Economics/Strategy

    In “Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector,” IEA stated that net zero by 2050 requires “nothing short of a total transformation of the energy system that underpins our economies,” and “the pathway is narrow but achievable.” The last 24 months has seen a groundswell of net-zero commitments by countries emitting over 90% of GHG. Corporate strategies increasingly recognize the net-zero goal. Meanwhile, after the 2020 pandemic-induced drop, global GHG concentrations increase and annual emissions rise. Net zero by OECD countries and major companies is necessary but insufficient. Can the global economy grow while emissions decline? In order to achieve net zero targets, emissions need to decline within this decade in emerging economies. Is this feasible? Can decarbonization accelerate in the power sector? When can power sector GHG emissions approach zero in OECD and in developing countries? Oil has been the major transportation fuel; transport sector emissions continue to increase. How far can the transport sector be electrified?

  • 02:55pm - 03:35pm (CST) / 07/mar/2022 08:55 pm - 07/mar/2022 09:35 pm

    Energy Industry Post-COP 26: From what to how?

    Panel Energy Transition/Climate & Sustainability

    After COP26 in Glasgow, the destination is clear—net zero by 2050. Net-zero targets have been set by countries representing 90% of world GDP and by an ever-increasing list of financial institutions and companies. Post-Glasgow, we are faced with implementation challenges. Emission reductions must be significantly accelerated within eight years to reach net zero by 2050. It will require flawless execution, public-private partnerships, and putting steel in the ground. The oil and gas industry will have to participate, using its technology, engineering, project management skills, ability to take financial risks, manage complexity, and execute at scale. The share of hydrocarbons has changed from 83% to 80% in the last 30 years; how can it decrease to near zero in 30 years? What are companies’ top priorities to reduce emissions? Which technologies will be most relevant for the industry getting to net zero, and what will be the timing and impacts? Is the push to net-zero and carbon-free energy causing current supply disruptions and price rise?

  • 03:40pm - 04:20pm (CST) / 07/mar/2022 09:40 pm - 07/mar/2022 10:20 pm

    How Are Digital Technologies Accelerating Decarbonization?

    Panel Hydrogen/Clean Tech & Power

    The potential of digital technologies to help reduce GHG emissions is generating a lot of enthusiasm. One recent analysis claimed that digital technologies could contribute as much as one third of the 50% GHG reduction required by 2030—more than the current carbon footprints of the European Union and the United States combined. Technologies such as 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), drones, augmented and virtual reality, and artificial intelligence (AI) are being applied across a spectrum of applications: in transportation, manufacturing, buildings, agriculture, and energy production. Digital technologies have the potential for reducing emissions. Which technologies hold the biggest promise? Which digital technology applications are leading to significant emissions reduction? How are digital technologies driving structural change and transforming traditional business models? What behavioral and organizational challenges arise when implementing digital technologies? How can large energy companies accelerate the scaling up of innovative technologies incubated in start-ups?

  • 05:00pm - 05:40pm (CST) / 07/mar/2022 11:00 pm - 07/mar/2022 11:40 pm

    Voices of Innovation: Ahmad Al Khowaiter

    Panel Innovation & Technology
    One-on-one candid conversations from the foremost and sometimes controversial thought leaders. 
  • 07:30pm - 09:00pm (CST) / 08/mar/2022 01:30 am - 08/mar/2022 03:00 am

    Company Strategies, Climate Disclosures & ESG Performance

    Lunch/Dinner Discussion Finance & Investment/Trading & Risk Management/ESG

    The Glasgow COP26 meeting reaffirmed the global goal of net- zero emissions by 2050. Previously, investors, shareholders, and companies focused on environmental performance. Now, energy companies face increasing pressure to allocate more capital to energy transition investments. Simultaneously, institutional investors are focusing more on climate-related financial risks to investments, along with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG). The new balanced scorecard not only includes financial performance but also a clear understanding of transition risks and companies’ contributions to positive societal outcomes. Should ESG be at the center of every energy company’s business strategy? How are ESG factors influencing financial institutions’ behavior and how well are energy companies responding? How will the recent run-up in energy prices influence the move from hydrocarbons to low or zero carbon? What are the pros and cons of regulators defining and mandating climate-related disclosure requirements? Should there be unified and transparent ESG metrics and disclosures similar to financial disclosures?

Tuesday, 8 March

  • 09:30am - 10:10am (CST) / 08/mar/2022 03:30 pm - 08/mar/2022 04:10 pm

    Voices of Innovation: Sunita Narain

    Panel Energy Transition/Climate & Sustainability

    One-on-one candid conversations from the foremost and sometimes controversial thought leaders.

  • 02:05pm - 02:45pm (CST) / 08/mar/2022 08:05 pm - 08/mar/2022 08:45 pm

    The Future of Upstream: Charting the course

    Panel Energy Transition/Climate & Sustainability

    In its May 2021 flagship report, “Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector,” the IEA called for no new investments in fossil fuel projects including oil and gas, in order to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Since that publication, oil prices increased over 35%; prices increased by over 55% since February 2021. Gas prices increased further and faster. Two competing narratives drive the debate: one promoting accelerated transition and abrupt end to hydrocarbon use and the other calling for orderly, gradual transition, minimizing disruptions, price shocks, and volatility. Global upstream faces whiplash between two narratives. Outside the OECD, thrust for mobility and electricity continues to increase, as millions of people in Asia and Africa strive for access to heat, light, and mobility. Is the upstream sector seeing premature underinvestment and could this be reversed? Will this decade bring recurring mismatches in demand and supply, and could this volatility be reduced? What are companies’ upstream strategies, given the drive for capital, operational efficiency, emissions reductions, and financial discipline? How has the industry changed regarding portfolio choices, with close to two-thirds production being short-cycle barrels?

  • 03:35pm - 04:15pm (CST) / 08/mar/2022 09:35 pm - 08/mar/2022 10:15 pm

    Company Strategies: From lower carbon to net-zero carbon

    Panel Hydrogen/Clean Tech & Power Finance & Investment/Trading & Risk Management/ESG

    The oil and gas industry remains at the center of the energy transition discussion, with growing attention from policymakers, capital markets, and the public. In response, the oil and gas industry has emphasized low-carbon strategies. Although most are implementing an energy transition strategy, there are significant differences in pace, portfolio choices, and scale. Stated targets and strategies for Scopes 1, 2, or 3, raise concerns from the industry, governments, and capital markets. Capital reallocation away from traditional oil and gas business has potential implications for energy security, supply, and prices. While investors demand transition progress, recent share price performance does not indicate correlation between low-carbon strategies and investor interest. How can the oil and gas sector participate in—and contribute to—the energy transition? What do low-carbon strategies look like for oil and gas companies, and how are companies allocating capital? Amid the recent rise in commodity prices, will companies change course and reemphasize oil and gas in their portfolios? Could underinvestment in oil and gas delay transition to a net-zero economy by constraining supplies/raising prices of necessary materials?

  • 04:20pm - 05:00pm (CST) / 08/mar/2022 10:20 pm - 08/mar/2022 11:00 pm

    How to Manage Carbon: New business models

    Panel Hydrogen/Clean Tech & Power

    There has been growing support for removing carbon from the atmosphere as a mission critical component of the emissions reduction toolkit. Widescale application of these technologies could decrease GHG concentrations by disconnecting future energy use from GHG emissions, removing prior accumulations of GHGs, and combining with the use of bioenergy to deliver “negative emissions.” These options face challenges as their scale and potential have yet to be realized. Over the last year, the pace of investments in CCUS and Direct Air Capture has accelerated rapidly. What has changed in the last 12 to 18 months for the renewed optimism and interest in CCS and Direct Air Capture? Is there a real market for carbon removal? How big could it be? What emerging business models are commercially attractive? Are there lessons from rapid scaleups, such as the development of COVID-19 vaccines, that could be models for scaling up carbon removal? How scalable are carbon-use technologies such as conversion to cement? What policy mechanisms could accelerate deployment of CCUS?

  • 05:05pm - 05:30pm (CST) / 08/mar/2022 11:05 pm - 08/mar/2022 11:30 pm

    Changing the Fuel Mix: Energy transition or energy addition?

    Panel Upstream Oil & Gas
    Historically, energy transitions took decades. It took three decades for coal, oil, and gas each to attain a 10% share in the primary energy mix. For the last two decades, hydrocarbons’ share has remained about 80% globally, while consumption has increased by 40%. Hydrocarbons comprise about 65% of primary fuel for power generation today, similar to 2000. Renewables’ share has increased while nuclear’s share has decreased by about the same magnitude. Achieving net zero by 2050/2060 implies that hydrocarbons’ share in the primary energy mix will decrease to zero or near-zero in 30 years. However, decarbonization of the power sector is the only success story, emissions continue to increase in all other end-use sectors. What strategies might be implemented to accelerate the change in fuel-mix? What pathways can reduce transportation light and heavy oil use? How can we decarbonize hard-to-abate sectors? Why is enthusiasm for green hydrogen justified? What is the future of oil and gas use to 2050? How will abatement be achieved and in which sectors? Can developing countries leapfrog to carbon-free energy in a cost-effective way? Will changing fuel mix require changing lifestyles and consumer behaviors?

Wednesday, 9 March

  • 07:30am - 08:10am (CST) / 09/mar/2022 01:30 pm - 09/mar/2022 02:10 pm

    Voices of Innovation: Jigar Shah

    Panel Geopolitics/Policy/Regulatory
    One-on-one candid conversations from the foremost and sometimes controversial thought leaders. 
  • 02:30pm - 03:10pm (CST) / 09/mar/2022 08:30 pm - 09/mar/2022 09:10 pm

    Voices of Innovation: Kara Hurst

    Innovation & Technology

    One-on-one candid conversations from the foremost and sometimes controversial thought leaders. 

  • 03:55pm - 04:35pm (CST) / 09/mar/2022 09:55 pm - 09/mar/2022 10:35 pm

    Energy, Climate Change & ESG: Navigating the future

    Finance & Investment/Trading & Risk Management/ESG Upstream Oil & Gas
    The Glasgow COP26 meeting reaffirmed the global goal of net zero emissions by 2050. Previously, investors, shareholders, and companies focused on environmental performance. Now, energy companies face increasing pressure to allocate more capital to energy transition investments. Simultaneously, institutional investors are focusing more on climate-related financial risks to investments, along with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG). The new balanced scorecard not only includes financial performance but also a clear understanding of transition risks and companies’ contributions to positive societal outcomes. Should ESG be at the center of every energy company’s business strategy? How are ESG factors influencing financial institutions’ behavior and how well are energy companies responding? How will the recent run-up in energy prices influence the move from hydrocarbons to low or zero carbon? What are the pros and cons of regulators defining and mandating climate-related disclosure requirements? Should there be unified and transparent ESG metrics and disclosures similar to financial disclosures? 

Thursday, 10 March

  • 09:35am - 10:10am (CST) / 10/mar/2022 03:35 pm - 10/mar/2022 04:10 pm

    Global Pathways to Net Zero & Beyond

    Panel Power & Renewables

    Since the publication of IEA’s “A Roadmap to Net-Zero” last May, there have been numerous reports and scenarios on how to get to net-zero emissions globally by 2050 or later. In most of these scenarios, electricity will be the linchpin of the global energy system by 2040 (or earlier), with almost half of the global energy consumption in the form of electricity. To achieve this, the bulk of electricity will have to come from renewable and non-fossil sources. Simultaneously, the electricity systems will have to be modernized and become highly flexible while maintaining stability and reliability. Extreme weather events and cyber security will be just two of the many challenges for the electricity system. How are two of the world’s leading electricity companies building their roads to net-zero emissions and beyond? How realistic is the goal to make global electricity generation net-zero emissions by 2050? How is digitalization driving decarbonization in the electricity sector? What is needed to accelerate energy investments in developing countries and at a lower cost of capital? What is a “just transition” and why is it important?

  • 10:30am - 11:10am (CST) / 10/mar/2022 04:30 pm - 10/mar/2022 05:10 pm

    Voices of Innovation: Yi Cui

    Interview Innovation & Technology

    One-on-one candid conversations from the foremost and sometimes controversial thought leaders.

  • 11:30am - 12:00pm (CST) / 10/mar/2022 05:30 pm - 10/mar/2022 06:00 pm

    Energy Transition: Big ambitions, hard realities

    Presentation Energy Infrastructure/Supply Chain Energy Transition/Climate & Sustainability Carbon Management/Decarbonization

    In its report “Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector,” IEA stated that getting to net-zero by 2050 will require “nothing short of a total transformation of the energy system that underpins our economies.” The report also observed that “the pathway is narrow but achievable.” At the same time, global GHG concentrations continue to increase and annual emissions are rising again after the pandemic-induced drop in 2020. Achieving net -zero by OECD countries and by major companies is necessary but not sufficient. Any roadmap to net-zero must travel via developing economies. Much of the progress to date has been in decarbonizing power sector, but only about one quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions are from electricity. In this conversation, the panelists will explore economic, technological, financial, and policy actions necessary within this decade to start bending the emission curve with emission reductions across all sectors globally.

  • 12:30pm - 01:10pm (CST) / 10/mar/2022 06:30 pm - 10/mar/2022 07:10 pm

    Advancing Energy Innovation: Growth of the ecosystem

    Panel Innovation & Technology

    Originating in the Silicon Valley, the term “Innovation Ecosystem is the evolving set of actors, activities, and artifacts, and the institutions and relations, including complementary and substitute relations, that are important for the innovative performance of an actor or a population of actors.” Creating energy sector innovation ecosystems has been challenging due to a multitude of participants, access to capital, role of governments, and challenges scaling promising technologies. With the need to develop and scale new technologies to achieve net zero by 2050, energy innovation will be the linchpin. What are critical factors for creating successful clean energy/tech innovation centers? Where are the most successful cleantech innovation ecosystems, and what makes them successful? Does the nature of the energy system make it less receptive to new ideas and innovations? How could governments incentivize these ecosystems? How could the pace of knowledge transfer be accelerated from innovation to deployment? With future growth in energy demand and investments centered in developing countries, how can new ecosystems be created in these countries?

  • 01:30pm - 02:10pm (CST) / 10/mar/2022 07:30 pm - 10/mar/2022 08:10 pm

    Voices of Innovation: David Victor

    Interview

    One-on-one candid conversations from the foremost and sometimes controversial thought leaders.

  • 02:20pm - 03:00pm (CST) / 10/mar/2022 08:20 pm - 10/mar/2022 09:00 pm

    Technologies for Zero Carbon

    Panel Hydrogen/Clean Tech & Power

    “Do we have the technologies to get to net-zero?” This has been the topic of debate recently. Some have claimed that as much as half of the future emission reductions will come from technologies that have not yet been invented. Innovation is a continuous process and new emission reduction technologies are continuously being developed, tested, and deployed. While emissions have gone down in the power sector in the EU and the US, emissions from transportation and industrial sectors continue to increase. In this conversation, the panel will discuss technological pathways to get to net zero in the next 30+ years. Do we have the technologies to get to net zero and is it primarily about deployment at scale or do we also need new inventions? What will come after solar PV and wind as the next game changing technologies? Why is the enthusiasm for hydrogen justified? Which digital technologies have the biggest potential to contribute to meeting sustainability and net-zero goals? How can the oil & gas industry become the leader in emission reductions? Does the world need to move from molecules to electrons for everything—heat, light and mobility? How is data and data analytics being used to improve efficiency and reduce emissions? Is it possible to accelerate the speed of energy innovation?

  • 03:30pm - 04:10pm (CST) / 10/mar/2022 09:30 pm - 10/mar/2022 10:10 pm

    View from the Ivory Tower: Role of universities in advancing decarbonization technologies

    Panel Innovation & Technology

    After the pandemic-induced drop in 2020, energy demand and emissions are back on their growth trajectories. In its report “Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector,” the IEA stated that getting to net-zero by 2050 will require “nothing short of a total transformation of the energy system that underpins our economies.” The report also observed that “the pathway is narrow but achievable.” Shorter innovation cycles and faster scale-up of new and existing energy technologies will be essential in achieving these targets within this time frame. Although the power sector is decarbonizing at a fast pace, other sectors are lagging significantly. How are three of the world’s leading universities addressing this challenge? How are these universities planning to reduce industrial emissions? How are universities, national labs, and energy companies improving their collaborations? What climate-resilient infrastructure investments do universities recommend publicly funding? What is the responsibility of universities to enable and support a “Just Transition” in developing countries? How can universities encourage the next generation to work in the energy industry?

  • 04:35pm - 05:15pm (CST) / 10/mar/2022 10:35 pm - 10/mar/2022 11:15 pm

    Frontiers for Energy Industry Innovation

    Panel Innovation & Technology

    Historically, the energy industry has been good at reinventing itself and at deploying new technologies, such as unconventional oil/gas production, ultradeepwater development, and solar PV. More recently, the energy industry has been quick to embrace a wide spectrum of digital technologies. However, according to the IEA, in 2050, almost half of CO2 emission reductions will need to come from technologies that are currently prototypes or being demonstrated. What are the most promising technologies and how can these innovations be rapidly deployed at a gigaton scale? Which digital and energy technologies have the biggest potential to contribute to meeting sustainability and net-zero goals? What are the potential options to solve the intermittency of renewable power and make it fully competitive with fossil-based generation?

Friday, 11 March

  • 07:45am - 08:25am (CST) / 11/mar/2022 01:45 pm - 11/mar/2022 02:25 pm

    Reflections--Pace of Change: Energy, Climate and Innovation

    Panel Energy Transition/Climate & Sustainability

    In this interactive and fast-paced conversation, S&P Global experts will reflect on what they learned during the week, significant announcements, and new insights they gained. What surprised the panel on what is ahead for the energy industry as it continues to build roadmaps to net zero while delivering secure, reliable, and affordable energy to consumers around the world?

  • 10:00am - 10:25am (CST) / 11/mar/2022 04:00 pm - 11/mar/2022 04:25 pm

    Climate & Energy Leadership Dialogue

    Panel Geopolitics/Policy/Regulatory

    Maria Zuber is a pioneer in many ways as the first woman to lead a NASA spacecraft mission and the first woman to lead a science department at MIT. She is Vice President of Research and E. A. Griswold Professor of Geophysics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member and Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Dr. Zuber is the winner of numerous awards and honors. In 2021, Dr. Zuber engaged with MIT community and developed MIT’s second climate action plan titled “Fast Forward: MIT’s Climate Action Plan for the Decade.” In this conversation, we will discuss Dr. Zuber’s journey from the coal mines of Pennsylvania to the pinnacles of academia and a leader in the scientific community.

  • 12:10pm - 12:50pm (CST) / 11/mar/2022 06:10 pm - 11/mar/2022 06:50 pm

    Reimagining the Energy Future

    Panel Hydrogen/Clean Tech & Power

    “The world has a viable pathway to building a global energy sector with net-zero emissions in 2050, but it is narrow and requires an unprecedented transformation of how energy is produced, transported and used globally,” the International Energy Agency wrote in the report “Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector” released in May 2021. Since then, countries with over 90% of global GDP have committed to net-zero targets by 2050 or a later date. However, in 2021, emissions and energy demand rebounded strongly after the pandemic-induced drops in 2020. Clearly, we must reimagine the energy future to meet the net-emissions targets. In this panel, we will synthesize the conversations during the week and discuss how to “reimagine the energy future.” Why is the world falling short in reducing emissions? What systemic changes are required to reduce emissions while meeting current and future energy demand? How can the silos among industries and among stakeholders be broken? How could these partnerships be accelerated?