Global energy governance and trade: enhancing access to clean energy through multi-stakeholder engagement
PPP strategy session at the Global Green Growth Forum 2012
9th October 2012
Enabling the scale-up of sustainable energy: International frameworks in a globalized economy
The world pressingly needs concerted action with respect to policies and measures affecting renewable energy, particularly to ensure that the relevant technologies, goods and services are available to all. Massive and rapid scale-up of renewable energy is crucial, so as to mitigate climate change and to enhance access to energy, in particular for those living off-grid. Access to energy is a crucial step in any development strategy, as it will contribute to economic growth and improve living standards, including health. Currently, there is a range of obstacles to such a scale-up, including to the movement of relevant technologies across borders. This hinders renewable energy from becoming a viable option to fossil fuels by preventing economies of scale and keeping costs high. Policymakers therefore need to address these obstacles, ideally through inter-governmental cooperation. On the 9 of September, 21 countries members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC, including major economies such as the US, Japan, China, Russia and India, agreed to reduce applied tariffs on a range of environmental goods, including renewable energy goods. This is a step in the right direction, which would need to be further built upon to eventually include a broader range of countries, a more comprehensive list of measures and provide greaterpredictability.
ICTSD and its partners believe that such initiatives – including possible agreements, such as a Sustainable Energy Trade Agreement – are crucial to providing the massive and urgent scale-up of renewable energy. The private sector, being key for developing the technical solutions and for disseminating these globally through international trade and investment, is the best placed to identifying obstacles, as well as solutions, to improving the dissemination of sustainable energy. It is consequently an important ally in helping to articulate relevant needs and concerns to policymakers, thereby informing a possible Sustainable Energy Trade Agreement. This is why ICTSD and its partners seek to foster a dynamic and fruitful Dialogue between the industry and policy makers, through the PPP-session at this year’s 3GF and beyond.
At the session, which took place on the 9 October, broad support was expressed to ICTSD’s ambition to spur concerted action on trade policy related to sustainable energy goods and services. Lead discussants at the session were Ms Pia-Ohlsen Dyhr, Minister of Trade of Denmark; Mr Kandeh Yumkella, Director General of UNIDO and Co-chair, UN Sustainable Energy for All; Mr Ditlev Engel, CEO, Vestas; Mr Rick Samans, Executive Director, GGGI and Mr Andrew Steer, President of the World Resources Institute. An introduction was given by Mr Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz, Chief Executive, ICTSD, who also moderated the discussions. The approach to work with broad alliances of private and public sector, as well as with the civil society, was endorsed. Participants offered suggestions of how to take the initiative further. In particular, calls were made for an enhanced communication which would allow more stakeholders to engage and appreciate the potential of constructive action. Moreover, participants welcomed the efforts of ICTSD and its partners to provide facts and evidence, and called for more analysis that can inform a continuous public-private dialogue. Although the G20 was recognised as a key group of countries to work with, there were also calls to include Africa in particular, recognizing the continent’s pressing needs for access to energy.
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