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IEA contribution to the G20 in 2021

Under its Presidency of the Group of Twenty (G20), the government of Italy invited the IEA to be a strategic partner for energy and climate, and to help support discussions on sustainable recovery, investment and finance.  

The IEA has played a critical role in the first ever joint meeting of G20 energy and climate ministers, held in Naples on 23 July 2021. IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol participated in the Ministerial meeting, unveiling new analysis on sustainable recovery, smart cities and energy security, which were produced at the invitation of the Italian Presidency. These contributions were reflected in the ministers’ communiqué and related documents.

G20 Family Phot

The IEA analysis highlights the role of cities in achieving net-zero emissions goals. Cities account for more than 50% of the global population, 80% of global GDP, two-thirds of global energy consumption and more than 70% of annual global carbon emissions. By 2050, more than 70% of the world’s population will be urban, resulting in massive growth in demand for energy infrastructure. But cities are also innovation hubs and their sheer size provides massive economies of scale. By unlocking smart energy systems, cities can play a leading role in reducing emissions, improving energy efficiency and enhancing resilience. The IEA report offers advice to national governments on how to help cities accelerate clean energy transitions by using digitalisation to leverage big data and the latest technologies to manage city services more efficiently.

The IEA’s new Sustainable Recovery Tracker monitors governments’ fiscal responses to the Covid-19 crisis and estimates their impact on clean energy investments and global CO2 emissions. To help inform policy makers and stakeholders, the tracker monitors how much global government spending is being allocated to sustainable recoveries, evaluates how much this spending boosts overall clean energy investment, and projects the effect on the trajectory of global CO2 emissions.

The government of Italy requested that the IEA provide insights and direction to update the G20 energy collaboration principles, which were endorsed at the G20 Brisbane Leaders’ Summit in 2014. The IEA report examines the evolving nature of energy security in the context of clean energy transitions in general and on the pathway to net-zero emissions in particular. It highlights emerging energy security concerns and provides seven key principles and advice to boost international collaboration, notably among the G20.  

Under the G20 finance track, the IEA supported discussions on the role of investment and finance on the pathway to net zero. IEA presented its Net Zero Roadmap to G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors at the Venice International Climate Change Conference, which was organized by the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Bank of Italy on 11 July. The IEA provided the G20 with policy insights and recommendations for how to boost  green investment, and on the role of finance in the critical milestones on the pathway towards net zero emissions. Italy also invited the IEA to join discussions at the G20 Sustainable Finance Private Sector Roundtable, following the creation of the new Sustainable Finance Working Group (17-18 May 2021) by the G20 Finance Ministers. 

The IEA Executive Director also participated in the B20-G20 dialogue on energy, climate and environment on 7 July 2021. Opened by the B20 Chair Emma Marcegaglia and by the Italian Minister of Ecological Transition Mr. Roberto Cingolani, the IEA Executive Director discussed the energy industry’s investment needs to reach net-zero.