First G20 Energy Ministers Meeting held in Istanbul

The first G20 Energy Ministers Meeting was held last October 2 in Istanbul.

The Group of Twenty (G20) is the premier forum for its members’ international economic cooperation and decision-making. Its membership comprises 19 countries plus the European Union. Each G20 president invites several guest countries each year.

During the meeting, G20 Energy Ministers focused on inclusive energy collaboration on the basis of the G20 Energy Principles agreed last year in Brisbane. Discussions focused on addressing the energy challenges of today and those of the future.

The following crucial issues were addressed at the G20 Energy Ministers Meeting:

Access to energy for all:

More than 1.1 billion people live without access to electricity, many of which are in the Sub-Saharan Africa Region, and around 2.9 billion people have to use traditional biomass for cooking, causing health and environmental problems. Energy access is a critical factor for achieving sustainable development as defined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

This year, as part of the G20´s contribution to this agenda, a new “G20 Energy Access Action Plan: Voluntary Collaboration on Energy Access” was adopted by G20 Energy Ministers.

The Action Plan, which was prepared with the support of SE4All, African stakeholders and other international organizations, focuses on improving coordination, investment and capacity building with a special focus on Sub-Saharan Africa.

Energy Investments in Light of Current Market Conditions:

“Investment” has been identified as one of the top priorities of the Turkish Presidency since it is critical both for lifting the global growth potential as well as for generating employment. Energy investments account for a high share of the total investment needs in our economies.

According to the IEA´s “World Energy Outlook 2014”, meeting the world’s growing need for energy will require more than US$48 trillion in investment over the period to 2035. As energy investment decisions taken in today’s market conditions lock in patterns of consumption and fuel use that will affect market balances and environmental outcomes, sometimes for long into the future, it is crucial for the G20, which hosts major energy producers and consumers, to closely monitor and assess the situation. Energy Ministers emphasized the importance of supporting energy investments in clean energy technologies.

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy use made up more than 18.1% of total global final energy consumption in 2012. G20 countries account for the bulk of this, and host 80% of existing renewable power capacity around the world.

Taking into account the high growth potential of renewable energy worldwide, G20 Energy Ministers discussed the ways and means for increasing renewable energy uptake and the challenges. A “G20 Toolkit of Voluntary Options on Renewable Energy Deployment” was adopted, which was prepared with the support of IRENA and other relevant international organizations. The Toolkit provides options for further work to enhance renewable energy uptake.

Energy Efficiency:

Energy efficiency has many benefits, including lower costs for households and businesses, greater economic productivity and growth, strengthened energy security, and improved environmental outcomes.

In 2014, a G20 Energy Efficiency Action Plan: Voluntary Collaboration on Energy Efficiency” was adopted at the Brisbane Leaders´ Summit. In 2015, important progress was achieved under this Action Plan with the support of IPEEC and other international organizations. Ministers welcomed progress under workstreams on transport, buildings, products, finance, industry and electricity generation, and emphasized the importance of taking this work forward.

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