The G20 continuous focus on Energy Efficiency

18th Jul 2016

On 29-30 June, the G20 held an Energy Ministerial Meeting in Beijing where the Energy Efficiency Leading Programme (EELP) was adopted.

The EELP builds on the G20 Energy Efficiency Action Plan and includes five new key areas of action. Notably, the new programme aims at providing a comprehensive, flexible and adequately-resourced long term framework for strengthening the G20 voluntary collaboration on Energy Efficiency.

The G20 represents 84% of the world’s total economic output, more than 80% of primary energy consumption and 80% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  Given that situation the group can lead the world towards energy efficiency improvements and enhanced cooperation.

The group continuous support to financing, developing and applying best available energy efficiency technologies is crucial in a low emissions future, particularly when ensuring sustainable use of indigenous energy resources.

Importantly, the EELP emphasises the multiple benefits of energy efficiency for advancing global sustainable development, including its contribution to socio-economic development and quality of life, its contribution to energy security, the reduction of final energy consumption and the reduction of GHG emissions.

To achieve those benefits, in particular the reduction of GHG emissions, it is critical to further enhance and accelerate the efforts on the supply side of energy efficiency – this is something that is often overlooked. Addressing energy efficiency on the supply side will also accrue benefits to climate goals, in particular concerning mitigation objectives determined by countries.

One of the key work areas of  the Energy Action Plan, which will continue under the EELP, is the Electricity Generation (High Efficiency Low Emissions- HELE) Task Group. The Electricity Generation Task Group led by Japan, supports energy efficiency improvements in conventional electricity generation with the introduction of HELE technologies, dissemination of best practices concerning its operation and maintenance as well as technical, financial and environmental aspects in G20 countries where fossil fuels are a major source of power generation.

HELE coal technologies have been mentioned by many developing countries in their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) as important tools to support their mitigation commitments towards achieving the Paris Agreement’s goals.

The importance of use of HELE technologies has been stressed as well in the G20 Energy Ministerial Beijing Communiqué. The communique encourages an enhanced cooperation in developing and applying the best available advanced fossil fuel technologies, as meaningful options for countries with diverse energy needs. HELE coal technologies are certainly part of those technologies. 

The WCA is committed to keep supporting the work of the Electricity Generation Task Group in identifying obstacles and solutions for the deployment of HELE coal technologies that can support developing countries that choose to use coal to do it in the best way possible. The EELP marks the continuation of the G20’s commitment, leadership and increasing support for energy efficiency from its generation and consumption side. Those are encouraging signs for achieving the benefits of improved global energy efficiency.