G20 urged to accelerate clean energy transitions

The G20 leaders have been told to accelerate clean energy transitions for a resilient economic recovery.

On 18 September, the International Energy Agency (IEA) and Business 20 (B20) issued a joint statement making the call, setting out how the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a history, albeit temporary, decline in energy demand and energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. Though global emissions are forecast to be 8% lower in 2020, a 20% decline in global energy investments in 2020 will threaten the pace and scope of energy transitions. It means that between now and 2050, around $3.5tn of annual energy investments are required globally across all energy sectors to meet targets for a sustainable path.

As the world’s economy and energy systems recover from the crisis, the G20 members will have a unique opportunity to enact policies that prevent a rebound of CO2 emissions and support a sustainable recovery, while boosting growth and creating green jobs.

The statement made a series of recommendations that could spur the much-needed investment cycle, calling on G20 countries to 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. It also called for them to 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; and implement energy pricing and tax reforms, using the revenues to finance a just transition.