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IEA calls for G20 leaders to pick up the pace on clean energy transition

The International Energy Agency (IEA) and Business 20 (B20), the official voice of the global business community across the G20 countries, have called on the G20 leaders to ‘accelerate clean energy transitions’ for a ‘resilient recovery’ from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The IEA and B20 call follows on from last week’s G20 Environment Ministers meeting.

In a joint statement issued on Friday (18 September), the IEA and B20 said that while the COVID-19 pandemic has ‘led to a historic, yet temporary, decline in energy demand and energy-related greenhouse-gas emissions’ it ‘also threatens the pace and scope of energy transitions with a 20% decline in global energy investments in 2020’.

The IEA and B20 argued that the global community cannot afford to lose its focus on decarbonisation because ‘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’.

According to the IEA and B20: ‘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.’

Specifically, the IEA and B20 called on G20 leaders to adopt policies that will ‘accelerate the deployment of existing low-emissions and emissions-neutral technologies, and boost innovation in crucial technology areas including hydrogen, batteries, and carbon capture utilisation and storage’.

Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, commented: ‘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.’

Click here to view the full IEA/B20 statement.

Ian Taylor

Ian Taylor