The first meeting of the Global Commission on People-Centred Clean Energy Transitions took place today, bringing together more than 20 high-profile energy and climate figures from around the world to discuss how to empower citizens and communities to navigate the changes of a rapidly evolving energy sector.
The Global Commission – also known as Our Inclusive Energy Future – is headed by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen of Denmark. It was convened by Fatih Birol, the IEA Executive Director. Today’s virtual meeting was chaired by Dan Jørgensen, Denmark’s Minister of Climate, Energy and Utilities, and co-chaired by Sophie Gladima, Senegal’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy.
A key focus of the discussion was employment and how to maximise the benefits of new job opportunities from clean energy while protecting workers and communities negatively affected by employment shifts and job losses. The importance of establishing a meaningful dialogue between government, industry and representatives of workers and other affected groups was also a recurring theme in the conversation.
The meeting underscored the value of a global conversation about how clean energy transitions affect people and communities. The discussion highlighted common challenges while recognising differing local circumstances. A central concern was the need to find ways to fund the necessary actions to protect and support people and communities, particularly the most vulnerable. Participants acknowledged the importance of ensuring all people have access to clean, affordable and secure energy throughout the complex process of clean energy transitions.
There was wide consensus on the value of identifying success stories and ensuring the lessons are learned from past failures. Commission members agreed to develop a set of solution-oriented recommendations that could be used for different country contexts.
“The enthusiasm of so many ministers and other global figures to engage in a long and rich dialogue today demonstrates the critical importance of this issue around the world, with countries seeking to turn ambitious climate goals into effective clean energy policies that benefit all their citizens,” said Dr Birol, the IEA Executive Director. “I would like thank the Global Commission members for bringing their time and insights to this vital endeavour.”
A report from the Global Commission meeting will form an important part of the IEA-COP26 Net Zero Summit, which takes place on 31 March. The Summit will provide a forum for top international energy and climate leaders from the world’s largest economies to accelerate the momentum behind clean energy and examine how countries can work together more effectively to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.