The Business 20 (B20), the official voice of the global business community across the G20, and the International Energy Agency (IEA) today issued a Joint Statement to call on the G20 Leaders to accelerate clean energy transitions for a resilient recovery. The call for commitment comes in the context of a series of G20 Ministerial meetings involving ministers of environment and energy.
In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a historic, yet temporary, decline in energy demand and energy-related greenhouse-gas emissions. According to the IEA, global CO2 emissions are expected to be about 8% lower in 2020 than they were in 2019. However, the pandemic also threatens the pace and scope of energy transitions with a 20% decline in global energy investments in 2020. Between now and 2050, about 3.5 trillion US dollars (USD) of annual energy investments are required globally across all energy sectors to meet the targets for a sustainable path, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.
As the world economy and energy systems recover from the crisis, the G20 Members have a unique opportunity to enact policies that prevent a rebound of CO2 emissions and support a sustainable recovery, while boosting growth and creating new green jobs.
The Joint Statement recommends specific and pragmatic policy options that could spur the much needed investment cycle if G20 countries:
- accelerate the deployment of existing low-emissions and emissions-neutral technologies, and boost innovation in crucial technology areas including hydrogen, batteries, and carbon capture utilization and storage;
- enhance energy market stability by improving global energy data transparency and evaluating energy market risks;
- take necessary steps to secure energy systems and provide access to affordable and uninterrupted flow of clean energy for all;
- implement energy pricing and tax reforms, using the revenues to finance a just transition.
Commenting on the announcement, Yousef Al-Benyan, Chair of B20, said, “The COVID-19 pandemic with historically low energy prices is a unique opportunity for governments to enact policies that steer their clean energy transitions at low financial, political and social cost.”
Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, added: “Mobilising the critical investments for meeting international energy and climate goals requires a grand coalition spanning governments, companies, investors and citizens. The IEA is pleased to work with the G20 and B20 to accelerate the major deployment of clean energy technologies that we need to build more sustainable and resilient energy systems. Despite the challenges we face from the Covid-19 crisis, stronger clean energy actions and ambitions from a growing number of governments and companies around the world make me increasingly optimistic for the future.”