July 10, 2020
On July 9 (Thur.), 2020, an IEA Clean Energy Transitions Summit was held via video conference organized by the International Energy Agency (IEA), and Mr. Kajiyama Hiroshi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, attended the meeting. At this meeting, participating ministers and other stakeholders from countries around the world focused on the importance of clean energy transitions toward sustainable economic recovery from damages caused by global expansion of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and confirmed their cooperation with each other in achieving this goal. Following the meeting, a Chair’s Statement was issued.
This IEA Clean Energy Transitions Summit was held in response to a call by the IEA from the standpoint that “clean energy transitions” are the exact measures to be included in the major measures for future economic recovery in light of the unprecedented crisis caused by expansion of COVID-19. The meeting was held via video conference and Minister Kajiyam attended the meeting.
At the meeting, Minister Kajiyama stated the importance of establishing robust and clean energy systems, which international society has recognized anew through the global expansion of COVID-19. Based on this, he presented a basic policy in which energy transitions should be advanced in accordance with the particular situations faced by respective countries and explained Japan’s specific efforts for placing renewable energy as a main source of electricity and for fading out use of inefficient coal-fired power plants. Finally, he stressed the importance of contributions to decarbonization at a global level through international cooperation in a more workable manner, while referring to specific examples, such as promotion of innovations under the “virtuous cycle of environmental friendliness and economic growth,” a concept on which G20 leaders agreed in 2019 under the chairmanship of Japan, and three international conferences hosted by Japan in the fall of 2019 in the fields of LNG, hydrogen and carbon recycling.
In addition, the ministers and representatives of private companies in attendance focused on approaches to breaking away from the crisis situations caused by COVID-19 as early as possible and, to this end, held discussions on necessary policies for promoting clean energy transitions that contribute to creating employment and reducing greenhouse gas emissions as measures for encouraging investments in energy-related industries and accelerating economic recovery in the post COVID-19 era.
Following the end of the meeting, a Chair’s Statement was issued, mainly presenting the following points.
- Participants welcomed the results of a variety of analyses, including a package of approaches to economic recovery, world investment reports and other documents which the IEA released, and those of the respective ministerial meetings organized by the IEA in the past several months, including the IEA Ministerial Meeting on Electricity held in May 2020.
- They noted the negative impacts of the current crisis situations on clean energy transitions and energy security, and, based on this, recognized the importance of expanding global investments (in particular, private investments) in energy and promoting innovations of clean energy technologies for the purpose of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.
- They requested the IEA to continue to lead global energy transitions through continuing efforts for monitoring of recent economic stimulation measures and supporting member countries toward sustainable economic recovery.
- They agreed to hold a Clean Energy Transitions Summit again in around the middle of 2021.