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G20 Global Energy Roadmap

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With the participation of the 19 largest countries of the global economy and the European Union (EU), the leaders of the G20 group met in New Delhi and completed the two-day summit. It was noteworthy that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping did not attend the summit. The Russia-Ukraine Crisis was the main factor in creating the main articles of the declaration within the scope of G20. Leaders approved the declaration prepared in this context and a road map was created. [1]

After the African Union’s participation in the G20, it has reached the same status as the EU. At the summit, where measures taken against climate change and renewable energy issues were discussed, there was no mention of the G20 moving away from fossil fuels. Member countries have commitments only on the gradual reduction of coal within the framework of the decisions of the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27). Moreover, it is estimated that the EU, which suffered a major blow in the Ukraine-Russia Crisis, will not be able to fulfill its responsibilities in this regard. Among the reasons for these comments, energy supply-security and sustainability were emphasized. It is also known that G20 countries own 93% of the world’s coal-fired thermal power plants [2]

United States President Joe Biden announced a “historic” new economic corridor consisting of railways and ports that will connect India, the Middle East and Europe. This was thought to be a move to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which has similar goals. [3] It has been stated that the friendship squares given after the Brazil, Russia, India, China and Republic of South Africa Summit (BRICS) are actually the first stage of a great competition, and this project announced at the G20 has started to create a new China-India tension . In addition, with the planned new railways and port projects, it has become possible for the global transportation system to shift from the Gulf countries to the EU.

India has announced that they will continue their promise to increase the available capacity in renewable energy and increase their work in energy storage technologies by 2030. It has been reported that developing countries need $5.9 trillion in financing to achieve their climate goals. [4]

The recommendations prepared by the International Energy Agency (IRENA) were added to the energy section of the declaration prepared at the G20 Summit, thus increasing the seriousness of the union on this issue. According to the “World Energy Transformations Outlook 2023” report, in order to achieve the 1.5 °C limit in parallel with the Paris Climate Agreement, the capacities must be tripled, that is, over 11,000 GW. [5]

It can be said that this declaration prepared within the scope of G20 constitutes a major point of resistance against the world climate road map. IRENA Director General Francesco La Camera made the following statement on the subject:[6]

“Adopting a renewable energy target aligned with the Paris Agreement targets is an important milestone for the energy transition. Thanks to rapidly falling costs over the last decade, renewable energy has emerged as the most cost-effective energy solution to meet the growing needs of the global population and simultaneously combat climate change. We will continue to cooperate closely with our member countries to achieve this goal.”

From a general perspective, there was a serious response from Saudi Arabia and Russia to the decision to preserve the Bali Declaration regarding the “reduction of carbon-free coal energy”. [7] Saudi Arabia, which is currently among the biggest supporters of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC+) restrictions, has a desire to bring the oil barrel price to $100. It is known that Russia uses the energy issue as a weapon against EU sanctions, and the reactions were formed in this way.

This statement is taken from the Bali Declaration and all members agreed with the statement “reducing carbon-free coal energy”. This expression was previously used in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Glasgow Climate Agreement and Sharm El Sheikh Implementation Plan. Carbon-free coal energy is generally defined as coal energy used without carbon capture, utilization and storage. Reducing carbon-free coal energy was not mentioned in the outcome of the G20 Energy Transition Ministerial Meeting in July. The Energy Transition Working Group discussed the differences in reducing fossil fuels for their common outcomes. Despite opposition from Saudi Arabia, Russia, China and South Africa, the text was included in the “President’s Summary,” along with other paragraphs. The four countries also failed to agree on the role of renewable energy in energy transitions and the tripling of renewable energy capacities. However, at the Sherpa meeting, a new initiative was made to include phrases such as “reducing fossil fuels” and “tripling renewable energy capacity” in the Leaders’ Declaration. Again, the use of coal energy was discussed during the negotiations, but this option was deemed unacceptable by other members.


[1] “G20 Zirvesi’nde Neler Oldu, Hangi Kararlar Alındı?”, BBC NEWS Türkçe, https://www.bbc.com/turkce/articles/ckdzzv581g4o, (Erişim Tarihi: 09.09.2023).

[2] Aynı yer.

[3] Aynı yer

[4] Same place

[5] “G20 Leaders Endorse IRENA Recommendations for Global Renewable Energy Adoption”, IRENA, https://t.ly/wnyus, (Erişim Tarihi: 11.09.2023).

[6] Aynı yer.

[7] “G20 Summit 2023: Members Agree To Phase Down Unabated Coal Power At Sherpa Meet”, Outlook BUSINESS+MONEY, https://business.outlookindia.com/news/g20-summit-2023-members-agree-to-phase-down-unabated-coal-power-at-sherpa-meet, (Erişim Tarihi: 08.09.2023).

Ömer Faruk PEKGÖZ
Ömer Faruk PEKGÖZ
Gazi Üniversitesi-Enerji Sistemleri Mühendisliği