GECF joins G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth
The Gas Exporting Countries Forum participated in the very first edition of the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth. Concurrent with several ministerial meetings and the G20 Summit meeting to be held at various locations in Japan, the Energy and Environment Ministers gathering was held to accelerate environmental protection and economic growth through innovation.
The G20 is an international forum, consisting of delegates of a total of 19 countries and the European Union. Both the largest developed nations as well as emerging countries are represented, jointly accounting two-thirds of the global population, 85% of global GDP and 75% of the world’s trade. (*) Dealing with an organization of this magnitude and clout undoubtedly presents a great opportunity for GECF Member Countries.
Apart from the members’ Energy Ministers, the meeting gathered respected international energy entities such as IEA, IEF, IRENA, and ERIA to discuss the necessity for renewed investment in the energy sector as well as the role innovation and novel technologies will have to play in successfully transforming the industry. Among other topics, the assembly covered liquified natural gas (LNG), blue hydrogen as well as new technologies for the gas industry, ways to use hydrocarbons in a cleaner and more sustainable way and the need for a solid infrastructure. These, along with the integration of renewables were hailed as cornerstones for the improvement of market conditions, access to energy and efficiency of resources.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme, about 300 million tons of plastic waste are produced every year, of which 8 million tons end up in the world's oceans. This is why in addition to energy efficiency and affordability, renewables, transparency of energy data and digitalization, the reduction of ocean waste and plastic waste in general were deliberated during the two-day discussions.
GECF Secretary General Dr. Yury Sentyurin was invited to participate in the high-level debates and present the Forum’s expertise and knowledge to the professional community. Addressing the audience, Dr. Sentyurin stressed that joining the G20 Ministerial gathering greatly contributed to the Forum’s pledge to enhance its role as a globally recognized benchmark institution in the global gas industry.
The GECF adopted a proactive stance in the G20 Energy Transitions Working Group, which was held alongside the first meeting of environment senior officials. Both sessions explored the scope for innovation within the energy industry, the overall security of the global hydrocarbons market, and the balance of energy supply and demand. The discussions reconfirmed the need to sustain worldwide efforts to secure a clean energy transition and build on existing commitments.
The Forum’s Secretary General stated that unlocking natural gas’ potential and increasing its role in the shift towards lower emission systems is at the top of the GECF’s agenda. This contributes to addressing climate change and builds on the 2018 G20 Energy Ministers’ Communiqué (June 15, 2018, Bariloche, Argentina). He added that the Forum endeavors to improve the functioning, transparency, and competitiveness of gas markets and encourages more effective and flexible use of natural gas, in line with the agreements outlined in the Communiqué.
Dr. Sentyurin also highlighted that - according to the Forum’s projections - by 2040, the demand for natural gas is expected to increase at an annual average pace of 1.7%, corresponding to overall growth of 46%. Most of this demand growth will come from the Asia-Pacific region, with Europe continuing to be an attractive market for many gas producers.
In line with a growing share of renewables, natural gas is set to be a key element in meeting environmental expectations and the growing appetite for energy, as it is both abundant and affordable. A major source for blue hydrogen, the natural gas industry is aimed at further improving its environmental image and enhancing its position as a crucial ingredient of the global energy mix.
The GECF’s mission and priority objectives are centered on fostering cooperation and dialogue, among producers, between producers and consumers, between governments and energy-related industries, the Secretary General mentioned. In the concluding remarks, Dr. Sentyurin urged the G20 countries to consider the GECF Members as the most reliable energy suppliers to the esteemed consumers and reaffirmed the Forum’s intent to participate proactively in the G20 activities.
On the sidelines of the meeting, the GECF Secretary General held several meetings with Russian, Indonesian and Australian official delegations, during which he showcased the GECF’s activities and indicated the Forum’s intent to build a comprehensive dialogue with all the partners on the basis of fundamental notion and strategic objectives, spelled out in the GECF Long-Term Strategy and the GECF Gas Summits declarations.
(*) source: www.g20.org