The First G20 Energy Sustainability Working Group Meeting 2020
Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
The Gas Exporting Countries Forum participated in The First G20 Energy Sustainability Working Group Meeting (ESWG) 2020, held under the Kingdom's of Saudi Arabia Presidency of the G20 on March 7-8 in Riyadh.
Building on the outcomes from the Japan Presidency of the G20 in 2019, the G20 ESWG participants discussed the advancement of energy efficiency, clean energy, energy access with a focus on Circular Carbon Economy approach of 4Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Remote).
During the Meeting, the GECF underscored its support to G20 ESWG and reaffirmed the Forum's readiness to continue to provide analytical support to the G20 ESWG on insights into gas markets for promotion of dialogue on gas industry key aspects, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has increased pressure on the energy market.
The GECF welcomed the G20 Energy Ministers’ willingness to improve the functioning, transparency and competitiveness of gas markets, with a strategic view on the supply chain. This is based on the G20 Energy Ministers Communiques of the year 2019, where the “key role that natural gas currently plays for many G20 countries” was recognized, alongside “its potential to expand significantly over the coming decades, supporting transitions towards lower emission energy systems.”
For this year’s G20 Energy Ministers Communique, the GECF proposed to build on this momentum and to consider the role of natural gas and its contribution to global and G20 energy needs, as well as natural gas capacity to further the 2030 UN Development Agenda, through cohesive support for universal energy access, energy efficiency and energy security.
The Forum strongly encouraged the inclusion of a statement that acknowledges the critical role of natural gas for G20 economies, and fully supports the structure adopted in 2018 year’s communique under Argentina presidency, which recognized the distinctive physical properties of natural gas resources which set it apart from other fossil fuels.
The GECF supported the policy developments being undertaken by G20 ESWG, on the circular carbon economy, which is a closed-loop system geared at establishing a balance of the carbon cycle. The GECF sees this framework as a primary initiative on reducing, reusing and removing greenhouse gases. This initiative is an excellent example of technology exchange and international cooperation, for the benefit of energy security and access not only for G20, but for the whole global economy.
GECF believes that it is time for G20 to expand information exchange and meaningfully enhance an inclusive dialogue with relevant international organizations, including GECF, on more effective and flexible use of natural gas.
The Second G20 Energy Sustainability Working Group Meeting (G20 ESWG) is scheduled on 19-20 June 2020 in Jeddah, KSA.