Time to Talk: Energy Ministers Meet in Delhi

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the fourth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) in Delhi today; the event brings together energy ministers and high-level delegates from 23 countries. On the agenda is how the world’s leading economies can achieve the CEM’s overarching goal: accelerate the transition to a global clean energy economy.

Autor*in RESET , 04.17.13

The global appetite for energy shows no signs of becoming satiated; carbon dioxide emissions continue to surge, and the political repercussions born from energy insecurities are bound to increase as well. Now more than ever a shift towards cleaner, more reliable energy needs to occur.

With this in mind CEM is holding its 4th annual meeting in Delhi today and tomorrow (17th – 18th of April). The national economies that are participating in the event represent 90 percent of clean energy investment worldwide, 80 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions, and two thirds of the projected global growth in energy demand over the next decade.

Currently, CEM is the only regular meeting of energy ministers at which clean energy deployment issues are discussed exclusively. It seeks to provide a platform where best practices can be shared, and where policies and programs that encourage and facilitate clean energy transitions can be promoted.

Furthermore the forum seeks to engage various stakeholders by offering a stage to showcase innovative products and services that accelerate the deployment of green energy, present SEAD Global Efficiency Medal Awards to manufacturers, and on which a discussion about the participation of women in clean energy can be held.

However the main concern is for energy ministers to review the progress of international clean energy initiatives, and assess the steps being taken towards creating cleaner energy sources. The focus of the talks will be placed on identifying key policies, programs and innovative strategies to increase energy efficiency and how clean energy supplies can be enhanced and accessed.

From this the International Energy Agency (IEA) will prepare their Tracking Clean Energy Progress report for 2013, as well as present their findings and recommendations to energy ministers based on previous reports and discussions.

In 2012, the IEA report found that the global transition to clean energy is “technically feasible, if timely and significant government policy action is taken, and a range of clean energy technologies are developed and deployed globally”.

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However the report also indicated that despite the fact that a transition to a low-carbon energy sector was affordable and would offer tremendous business opportunities, investor confidence remained low due to discouraging policy frameworks, which do not provide sufficient certainty, and lower barriers to technology deployment.

Given the private sector’s expertise, influence, and capital which may leverage the creation of more clean energy options, six private-public roundtable discussions have been organised. The energy ministers, business leaders and experts from nongovernmental organizations and academia will be brought to the table to discuss various clean energy themes.

Will the CEM forum be able to help bridge government policy gaps and bring us closer to the global clean energy transition that we desperately need? Will the opportunities and momentum these discussions bring be seized? Will joint commitments be struck sincerely? Time will tell.

Author: Kirsten Zeller / RESET editorial

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