ENERGY TRANSITIONS AND SUSTAINABLE GROWTH: Discussions During the G20 Meetings
Discussions on Environment and Energy Theme
The G20 Leaders’ Summit and associated meetings, including a global event on financing energy efficiency and a meeting of energy and environment ministers on energy transitions and the global environment, highlighted energy-related and environmental issues such as energy performance of asset investments and energy transitions to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and low-emissions systems.
The Global Summit issued the ‘Tokyo Declaration on Improving the Visibility and Energy Performance of Asset Investments by Financial Institutions.’ The Declaration includes recommendations on: (a) increased transparency of the energy performance of banks’ assets; (b) an exemplary role for public financial institutions in their consideration of energy performance in all new real estate lending activities; (c) to promote best practices and to track the commitments made to tag assets’ energy performance through networks of leading financial institutions; (d) to consider smart enabling infrastructure in cities and the built environment that can yield important systemic efficiency gains.
The Declaration notes that 136 countries refer to actions by the buildings and/or construction sector in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement on climate change. The Declaration highlights that the G20 Energy Efficiency Finance Task Group has developed tools to enable 122 private banks, six public financial institutions and more than $4 trillion of institutional investors to embed energy efficiency considerations in their activities.
G20 Global Summit on Financing Energy Efficiency, Innovation, and Clean Technology
The Global Summit was convened in Tokyo, Japan, on June 12, 2019 and was co-hosted by the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC) and the UN Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). Central to the discussions were the importance of improving data disclosure, machine learning techniques and other advanced data analytics to improve the transparency of the world’s emerging sustainable finance market. As a major outcome of the event, over 150 high-level delegates and participants concluded a declaration on improving the visibility and energy performance of asset investments.
The Global Summit’s outcomes were communicated to the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth, which was convened in Karuizawa, Japan, from June 15–16, 2019. During the Ministerial Meeting, the environment and energy ministers exchanged views on accelerating the ‘virtuous cycle’ of environmental protection and economic growth by innovation, resource efficiency, marine plastic litter, and adaptation and resilient infrastructure, including ecosystem-based approaches.
Amongst other initiatives, ministers adopted the ‘G20 Karuizawa Innovation Action Plan on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth,’ which will help in proceeding with the efforts and cooperation at the national, regional, and international levels, involving multiple stakeholders. For the promotion of international collaboration amongst leading research and development institutes in G20 countries, the ministers also agreed to a Japanese climate initiative, ‘Research and Development 20 for Clean Energy Technologies (RD20)’. In the Communiqué, ministers also support efforts to mobilize finance and improve the market and investment environment for various energy options, innovative technologies and infrastructure that enhances energy access, resilience, and sustainability. On energy security, ministers emphasize the importance of reliable energy infrastructure to prevent energy supply disruptions; diversification of energy sources, suppliers and routes; and open, flexible, transparent, competitive, stable, and reliable markets.
On energy efficiency, ministers agree to further explore the potential and impact of energy efficiency in such areas as heating and cooling, and buildings; and encourage policies to scale up investments and financing in energy efficiency across all sectors. On renewable energy, the Communiqué underscores the need to accelerate renewable energy progress beyond the power sector, and addresses power systems, nuclear energy, fossil fuels and the need to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.
On energy access and affordability, ministers reaffirm their commitments to promote universal energy access in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, help enhance implementation of regional action plans, and provide displaced people in disaster-impacted and remote areas with energy access. The Ministerial Meeting’s outcomes fed into the G20 Leaders’ Summit, which met on June 28–29, 2019. Leaders adopted the ‘G20 Osaka Leaders’ Declaration,’ which includes a section on energy and energy efficiency. The Declaration acknowledges the importance of energy transitions that realize the ‘3E+S’ (Energy Security, Economic Efficiency and Environment + Safety) to transform energy systems into affordable, reliable, sustainable, and low-emissions systems. The Declaration acknowledges the role of all energy sources and technologies in the energy mix and a range of possible paths to achieve cleaner energy systems. It recognizes opportunities presented by further development of innovative, clean and efficient technologies for energy transitions; the importance of global energy security for energy system transformation; and the importance of international cooperation on energy access, affordability, efficiency, and storage.
India also participated in G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth in Japan. “India is implementing one of the largest renewable energy expansion programmes, energy efficiency programmes and moving towards the achievement of our target to fulfill our commitments made in Paris Agreement on Climate Change’ said Shri RK Singh, Minister of State for Power and New & Renewable Energy (IC) and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Government of India. Shri Singh spoke at the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth being held in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, Japan on June 15–16, 2019.
In the intervention made by the Minister, he highlighted the pathbreaking achievements in household electrification and providing energy access to all in India. The Minister also mentioned about the progressive steps towards the achievement of our target to fulfill our commitment made in Paris Agreement on Climate Change. He expressed confidence that India will achieve 40% RE in energy mix by 2030. In addition to this Shri Singh mentioned various energy efficiency programmes, such as through PAT, UJALA, Standard & Labelling, ECBC, etc., and reiterated India’s commitment for greener and healthier planet.
Shri Singh said that India is achieving one of the largest expansion of renewable energy in the world and has become a net exporter of power in past 5 years. He also talked about India’s achievements in transmission systems: One nation one Grid, Green Energy Corridors, etc. India’s achievements in power and RE sectors got appreciation at the Ministerial meet. DG, IRENA mentioned about the success in RE by India in his speech. ED, IEA also mentioned about the successful story of India’s electrification programme and praised it. On the sidelines of the Meet, Shri Singh had bilateral meeting with ED, IEA, Mr Fatih Birol and discussed cooperation between India and IEA. Shri RK Singh also had bilateral meeting with Ms Therese Coffey, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK, and discussed various areas of cooperation between the two countries related to energy and environment. Further, the Minister had a bilateral meeting with Mr Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade & Industry, Japan, and discussed various aspects of bilateral cooperation in energy sector. Overall, the meeting was very useful in furthering the prospects of renewable energy throughout the world and in India.
Sources: https://ipeec.org; sdg.iisd.org; www. pib.nic.in