The International Energy Agency (IEA) Governing Board, at ministerial level, has adopted the following ministerial communique:
1. We, the Ministers responsible for energy of the IEA Member states and the European Union, met in Paris and virtually on 23-34 March 2022, announcing the following communique adopted on 3 February 2022, with United States Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm serving as Chair and Australian Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor, Belgian Minister of Energy Tinne Van der Straeten, and Danish Minister of Climate, Energy and Utilities Dan Jørgensen supporting as Vice Chairs.
2. We welcomed also Ministers representing IEA Association and Accession Countries, the IEA Energy Business Council, and other invited guests and thank them for their valuable contributions to the meeting.
3. We note that this meeting was among the first major energy-related events following the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, United Kingdom. We welcome that COP26 and the Glasgow Climate Pact brings the world closer to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement, and also acknowledge that stabilization at 1.5 degrees Celsius is difficult but still within reach.
4. We held our discussions at this meeting under the theme, “The Year of Implementation: Accelerating Global Action on Clean Energy and Energy Security”, recognizing the need to move to practical, concrete clean energy transitions and urgent energy sector transformation toward the global objectives embodied in the Paris Agreement, including the goals of Agenda 2030, and attainment of net zero globally by 2050. We note that clean energy transitions and energy sector transformation are and will continue to be major drivers of economic growth, and jobs, increasing access to affordable energy and alleviating energy poverty. The IEA, the International Finance Corporation, and others have estimated that the commitments under the Paris Agreement created a tens of trillions of U.S. dollars investment and job creation opportunity through this decade alone.
5. We applaud the work of the IEA, its global impact, and its essential and expanding role in energy security and the fight to reduce energy-related greenhouse gas emissions through safe, sustainable, inclusive, and secure clean energy transitions.
6. We recognize the importance of ensuring an Agency that is “fit for purpose” in view of the pathways to global net zero emissions by 2050, and equipped to advise and guide Members in their safe, secure, sustainable, and affordable clean energy transitions and, where designated, to support Association countries, IEA Clean Energy Transition Programme partners in their transitions, recognizing their own unique challenges, and working together with regional partner organizations.
7. We view this Ministerial as the launch of a new phase of the Agency to address today’s energy and energy-related needs in a climate-constrained world. With the mandates adopted today, the IEA will evolve in its mission and impact. In addition to ensuring global energy security, the IEA has a new guiding principle: supporting countries in the global effort to attain net zero greenhouse gas emissions in the energy sector by mid-century.
8. We recognize that energy reliability and affordability is critical in and of itself, and for preserving public support for climate action and successful clean energy transitions. Recent volatility in markets has placed a burden on consumers at a critical moment of economic recovery. However, we resolve to accelerate clean energy transitions as a lasting solution to prevent energy price spikes, such as the recent ones, and to ensure sufficient affordable energy supply, including through securing sufficient investment in energy, universal energy access, uninterrupted flow of energy resources, and consumer protection, especially for the most vulnerable populations. We call for transparent and competitive energy markets to minimize the negative impact of price volatility on citizens.
9. We applaud the IEA’s holistic approach to understanding and analyzing the energy sector. We acknowledge increased Members’ expectations for the IEA to work in sectors in an increasingly complex energy security environment beyond oil, natural gas, and electricity, in the context of net zero transitions, to include but not be limited to, renewable energy, zero emissions transport, greenhouse gas abatement in fossil energy, clean gases and fuels, in particular from renewable sources, including hydrogen, heating and cooling, energy efficiency, and critical minerals and materials.
10. We agree on the importance of an agile, effective, and efficient Agency that can deliver on Members’ vision and priorities as laid out in these interlinked mandates. We confirm our commitment to explore ways for providing adequate and sustainable funding for the IEA to achieve the objectives outlined in this communique.
Leading the Global Energy Sector’s Fight Against Climate Change
11. We call on the IEA to continue to play a leading role in the energy sector transformation in light of climate change, concentrating on helping countries achieve net zero emissions by 2050, and expansion of related job opportunities. We direct the Secretariat to expand IEA activities to support decision makers to turn commitments into practical actions that decouple economic growth from growth in greenhouse gas emissions, while maintaining security and affordability of energy supply.
12. We recognize the importance of our individual commitments to national net zero strategies, including near-term actions, to leverage the goal of the IEA to support achievement of global net zero emissions by 2050.
13. We support the IEA’s continued development of more refined and actionable national net zero energy sector roadmaps – recognizing particular countries’ needs and requirements – to track national and global progress towards reducing energy sector emissions, increasing clean energy job opportunities, and other relevant goals and investment, enhance assistance to Members and other priority countries, and assist the energy sector in addressing barriers related to innovation, regulation, and the environment.
14. We acknowledge the Breakthrough Agenda, launched at COP26 in Glasgow, and its potential for catalyzing clean energy innovation, development, and deployment in major emitting sectors, including through the associated Global Checkpoint Process, in which the IEA is playing a role in developing a Global State of the Transition Report in partnership with others.
15. We welcome the recommendations of the IEA Global Commission on People-Centred Clean Energy Transitions, and the need to incorporate gender, equality, and social inclusion in all policies and to sustain clean energy jobs and equitable opportunities for all. We embrace the priority of supporting people and communities as active participants as decision makers, innovators, and beneficiaries of clean energy actions, integrating the voices of younger generations in decision-making. We applaud and support continuation of IEA efforts to promote gender equality and diversity across the energy sector, as well as within the IEA itself, including through improved data, the IEA Gender Advisory Council, and cooperation with C3E International. We support and direct the IEA Secretariat and the Council to continue to develop data analysis and policy recommendations on these priority issues.
16. We reaffirm energy efficiency as the “first fuel” and a critical component of our net zero strategies as it still represents the cleanest and, in many cases, the most cost-effective way to meet our energy needs. We welcome the significant progress achieved in the development and deployment of renewable energies and clean technologies and reaffirm their important contribution to reaching our net zero goals.
17. We emphasize the importance of non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions abatement, including methane, alongside action on reducing CO2 emissions in the energy sector, and the need for early and sustained reductions in energy-related methane emissions. We welcome the IEA’s role on methane-related data, policy, and regulatory advice in support of international methane reduction efforts, including the Global Methane Pledge, International Methane Emissions Observatory, and other related efforts. Similarly, we support rapid reduction of other short-lived climate pollutants in energy and energy-related sectors.
18. We affirm the critical roles of technology, innovation, and investment in enabling global net zero ambition and reaffirm the critical role of the IEA, including its Technology Collaboration Programme, in addressing barriers to development, uptake, and accelerated deployment of safe and sustainable clean energy technologies.
Ensuring Energy Security During the Energy Transition
19. We reaffirm the importance of maintaining global energy security and the IEA’s central role in that effort. We commit to continue working together to prevent energy and resource supply disruptions and ensure diversification of energy sources, supplies, routes, and means of transport to build system resilience and promote competitive, reliable energy markets based on transparent rules. We note the IEA’s consistent analysis that ensuring energy security and addressing climate change in the energy sector and related sectors go hand-in-hand and, accordingly, emphasize that IEA work on both issues, including as described in this communique, is therefore inextricably interlinked.
20. We recognize the need to modernize the IEA oil stockholding system and requirement, in the context of emerging energy economy dynamics, national and global climate, energy, net zero objectives, and transition to a decarbonized energy sector. We direct the Governing Board to recommend to Ministers for the next regularly scheduled IEA Ministerial ways to future-proof and, if necessary, adjust the oil stockholding requirement while recognizing the need to maintain a robust and efficient emergency response mechanism suitable for the transition to a net zero future and potential involvement of the full IEA Family in future emergency response as decided by the IEA Governing Board.
21. We recognize the importance of gas security, including exploration of appropriate coordination options, and commend the IEA’s work on LNG and strengthening resilience of production and distribution systems. We also highlight the growing role of zero-emitting gases or hydrogen, with particular attention to renewable forms, in helping to enhance energy security, while reducing emissions. We commit to taking practical action to address the environmental impacts, including the abatement of methane emissions in the gas system, from drilling to transportation, distribution, and utilization.
22. We recognize the importance to energy security and clean energy transitions of ensuring clean, affordable, reliable, resilient, and secure energy infrastructure and note increasing interdependencies, for example, as a growing share of transport demand is electrified. We applaud the IEA’s energy systems approach that looks holistically across the energy sector, and direct the Secretariat to continue analyzing energy infrastructure including technologies, policies, investment, interlinkages and cross-sectoral integration, and similar issues.
23. We agree to deepen work on electric power security, the resilience of electricity systems and broader energy infrastructure to extreme weather events and intentional incidents (cyber and physical), and the opportunities that can be harnessed from integration of very high shares of renewable energy into these systems, supported by appropriate electricity market designs and policy frameworks. We recognize that flexible supply and demand resources need to be secured in the transition of power systems, and that this flexibility can be enhanced by greater energy storage, demand response, digital and smart grids, hydrogen, ammonia, and increased regional grid connections and trading.
24. We commit to deepen IEA work on safe, sustainable, resilient, and reliable clean energy supply chains including identifying opportunities to diversify production, increase transparency, and enhance international cooperation.
25. We recognize the growing importance of critical minerals and materials to clean energy transitions and endorse recent work by the IEA on this topic. We direct the Governing Board and Secretariat to investigate and report back, no later than the next IEA Ministerial meeting, on the comparative advantages of different methods of ensuring the availability, security and responsible sourcing of energy-specific critical minerals and materials, including options to strategically manage resources such as recycling, supply chain resilience and sustainability, stockpiling, and enhanced research development and deployment into improved design of and alternative materials for clean energy systems, with the objective to support investment in new sources of supply and development of a circular economy that accelerates clean energy transitions and ensures affordable security of supply.
26. We note that countries interested in closer cooperation launched at this meeting an IEA voluntary critical minerals security program which will include stockpiling as well as potentially other security elements including recycling and resilient and transparent supply chain mechanisms, whereby participating Members agree to work together and share experience and mutually agreed data with the IEA from their nationally self-determined critical mineral stockpiling programs, or alternative measures aligned toward the same outcomes.
Strengthening the IEA Family
27. We warmly welcome Lithuania as the IEA’s 31st Member and applaud its rapid compliance with IEA membership provisions.
28. We welcome the continued interest in IEA membership from Chile, Colombia, and Israel and encourage their progress toward accession to the IEA’s underlying Agreement on an International Energy Program. We commit to strengthen our engagement with them as an important part of the IEA Family.
29. We recognize Association countries’ longstanding commitment to and collaboration with the goals and objectives of the IEA. We commit to deepen IEA engagement with them as another important part of the IEA Family.
30. We applaud the Governing Board’s decision in October 2021 to selectively lift the pause on Association and welcome Argentina and Egypt as the newest Association countries. We direct the Governing Board, in consultation with the Standing Group on Global Energy Dialogue, to consider future possible candidates for Association, including countries in sub-Saharan Africa and other under-represented regions.