The planet is threatened by rapidly rising population and the accompanying impact on the environment. However, the environment will not be protected unless societies develop a satisfactory level of social and economic capital. The appropriate balance of environmental, social and economic capital is the challenge of sustainable development. The availability of a plentiful and economic supply of energy is a requirement for the economic and social pillars of sustainable development. Oil and gas will be a major component of the global energy mix for many years until alternate sources of energy become available and economic. During this transition period, the oil and gas industry has an important role to play in managing its operations safely and in reducing emissions, discharges and ecological impact while providing energy at a reasonable cost. This paper will review some of the most critical environmental challenges facing the world today including pollution, biodiversity and global climate change, and review the progress and challenges for the International Oil and Gas Industry. Suggestions for the future role of Non-Government Organizations (NGO's), Governments and Industry Associations will also be presented.

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