G20 energy group explores future energy infrastructure needs
The second G20 Energy Sustainability Working Group (ESWG) meeting for 2014 was held in Sydney on 28–30 May.
In response to G20 leaders’ request to hold a dialogue to bring the private sector and officials together to discuss factors hindering energy investment, a workshop on this topic was held on the first day of the meeting. Senior business leaders from the energy sector, including Grant King, Managing Director of Origin Energy, spoke to ESWG delegates on how business can drive energy infrastructure investment. Officials from the International Energy Agency (IEA), OECD, Australian energy regulators and representatives of the G20 civil society engagement group (the C20) also participated in workshop sessions. An important conclusion of the workshop was that significantly improved investment in energy infrastructure would be needed to achieve energy access, energy security and development goals.
The ESWG also advanced the G20’s broader work on energy, discussing global energy architecture, gas markets, energy efficiency and phasing out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that cause wasteful consumption.
G20 members acknowledged the rapid changes in energy markets in recent years, including the increasing importance of emerging economy energy consumers like China and India, and the rise in unconventional energy production such as shale gas. Officials discussed how the G20 might help global energy institutions to adapt to these changes.
The ESWG welcomed the launch of the Joint Organisations Data Initiative on Gas (JODI Gas) earlier in May. The G20-supported initiative complements earlier work on JODI Oil and enhances the efficiency of gas markets by promoting greater transparency of gas production, consumption and trade data.
ESWG officials also discussed the growing importance of gas in the global energy mix, and considered ways to improve international dialogue on gas markets.
Reiterating the importance of energy efficiency in helping to support productivity and growth, and better environmental outcomes, ESWG officials discussed ideas to help strengthen international energy efficiency outcomes.
The ESWG will meet again in August 2014.