G20 needs to provide inclusive energy system to accelerate global energy transition
G20 Needs to Provide Inclusive Energy System to Accelerate Global
JAKARTA, 21 FEBRUARY 2022. G20 member countries accounted for about 75% of global
energy demand. Therefore, the G20 countries have a big responsibility and strategic role in
encouraging the use of clean energy. As the G20 is expected to reach a mutual agreement in
accelerating the global energy transition, the T20, as the official engagement group of G20,
has the opportunity to encourage the world’s collective efforts in realizing policies to
accelerate global economic recovery inclusively.
Through the T20 Inception Conference, the Think20 aims to provide such discussion under
one of the plenary sessions, titled “Accelerating Energy Transition – Raising Climate Target.”
This session was chaired by Moekti Handayani Soejachmoen (Kuki) as the chair of Task
Force 3 of T20 Indonesia 2022 and invited lists of panelists such as Gauri Singh (Deputy
Director-General, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)), Tetsushi Sonobe (Dean
and CEO, Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI)), Frank Jotzo (Task Force 3 Co-Chair, T20
Indonesia), and Dennis Snower (President, Global Solution Initiatives, Germany).
G20 Plays an Essential Roles in Accelerating Energy Transition Agenda
G20 member countries are expected to have a strategic position to encourage the energy
transition. When opening the session, Soejachmoen mentioned that the G20 is expected to
reach a mutual agreement in accelerating the global energy transition. “G20 has a strategic
role in promoting the use of clean energy, as the G20 is expected to reach a mutual
agreement in accelerating the global energy transition and strengthening the sustainable
global energy system,” said Soejachmoen.
The session continued with a keynote speech delivered by Gauri Singh. She emphasized the
importance of having an inclusive energy system to support the energy transition in her
remarks. “We must build a new energy system, a cleaner system (that is) focused on the
principles of inclusive sustainable and equitable growth. A greener system that liberates us
from the volatility and instability that has long characterized the energy economy. Indonesia
has an opportunity through its presidency not only to bring world leaders and
decision-makers together but to show energy transition leadership through its actions,” said
Furthermore, Singh also stated that the G20 as an inclusive platform, for both developed and
developing countries, could also accelerate green growth to support economic recovery. “We
believe (that) there is room for us to do more. The energy transition centered around
renewables has the power to address the overwhelming share of carbon emission efficiently
and cost-effectively,” added Singh.
Addressing Climate Agenda Should Enable Cross-Country Collaboration and Efforts to
Formulate Socially Acceptable Policies
The session continued with a panelist discussion. Frank Jotzo, Dennis Snower, and Tetsushi
Sonobe shared their thoughts about several key questions on accelerating the energy
transition. As we are all aware, there have been longstanding conversations on whether
countries need to slow down their development progress to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions (GHG emissions). Jotzo disapproved of such a proposal as he stated, “There is no
conflict anymore between the goals of development economic growth and a clean economic
system.” Jotzo further emphasized that affordable clean energy is the single critical factor
that will allow the world to achieve an ambitious climate change mitigation and drive the
energy transition to low carbon. “Investment in clean energy is increasingly understood not
as a brake on the economy, but as a motor of economic growth. An enormously large
investment is needed to get to the low carbon-low emission system of the future. That large
investment (is needed) upfront,” added Jotzo.
Afterward, Snower emphasized how important it is to make a socially acceptable climate
policy. He stated that climate action is often not socially acceptable because it hurts the
poorest consumers most and endangers people’s jobs in the carbon-intensive industry.
“Green energy has become much cheaper, and its investment will create a lot of jobs, but the
losers in the transitions will not automatically become the winners. So, I think we should be
very cognizant of the history that we have had over the past decades,” said Snower.
Furthermore, he added that international cooperation plays a significant role in creating
socially acceptable climate policies. “Advanced countries providing technology transfers and
financial support, the developing countries contribute much more actively to climate action;
that, in combination with making climate action socially acceptable, I think would be the right
framework for carbon pricing,” he added.
The discussion then continued to the contradiction of energy access with the energy price.
Sonobe mentioned that access to clean energy is indispensable to improving the quality of
life and sustaining economic development, especially in low-income countries. As clean
energy is still perceived as expensive for low-income countries, it is essential to find ways to
make clean energy comfortable. Echoing Jotzo and Snower, Sonobe stated that the key to
achieving such a goal is technology utilization, international cooperation, and policy
coordination. “Local carbon energy transition and the eradication of energy poverty are, in a
sense, contradictory with each other, but they should be and can be compatible with each
other,” he concluded.
For full coverage of the event, please watch our recorded live stream on Youtube: