Communiqué of the 2019 meeting of the IEA Governing Board at ministerial level

PARIS - The Governing Board, at Ministerial level, has adopted the following Ministerial Communiqué:

1.         We, the Ministers responsible for Energy of the International Energy Agency (IEA) member states, met in Paris on 5-6 December 2019 for a Ministerial meeting under the Presidency of Mr. Michał Kurtyka, Minister of Climate, Poland. Discussions were held under the theme “Building the Future of Energy” with the goal of supporting members of the IEA Family achieve clean, sustainable, efficient, modern, affordable and secure energy that gives opportunities for all.

2.        We welcome Ministers representing Association and Accession Countries, the IEA Energy Business Council and consumer groups and thank them for their valuable contributions.

3.        We recognize the importance of leading energy transitions to urgently address key and complex global issues and challenges such as energy security, climate change, resource efficiency, sustainable consumption, production and energy access. We acknowledge the importance of climate protection and the commitment to the Paris Agreement from those countries that chose to implement it, noting recent G20 communiqués in that regard. We support the IEA’s leading role in informing global energy policy to address clean energy transitions and safeguarding global energy security and affordability.

4.        We applaud the extraordinary progress achieved since our last meeting under the IEA’s three-pillar modernization strategy. We welcome the second term of the Executive Director, Dr. Fatih Birol, and we encourage continued work of the IEA towards further strengthening the IEA’s role as the leading global energy authority by exploring the contributions of all fuels and technologies.

5.        We congratulate Lithuania on commencing the IEA accession process and commit to supporting its endeavours. We congratulate Chile on the progress it has made in its accession to the IEA and welcome interest from Colombia to pursue this path. We also welcome the IEA’s growing focus on Africa, recognizing the increasingly important role it is playing in global energy.

Energy Security

6.        We reaffirm the importance of maintaining global energy security. To this end, we are committed to working together to prevent energy and resources supply disruptions, ensure diversification of energy sources, supplies, routes and means of transport to build supply resilience and to promote competitive, stable and reliable energy markets.

7.        We note the continuing importance of oil security and the ability of the IEA to respond to major supply disruptions. Accordingly, we confirm that compliance with the IEA’s stockholding requirement as well as each country’s ability and readiness to effectively contribute to a collective emergency oil response remain key. We request that the Secretariat bolster global oil security by continuing to assess the potential of the IEA stockholding system and working closely with Members to assure each country’s ability to effectively contribute to a collective emergency oil response and by further enhancing cooperation with Association countries in responding to oil disruptions.

8.        We welcome the growing contribution the IEA is now making to natural gas security. We note the role of natural gas in transitions towards low- and zero-emission energy systems and improved energy security. We also note the growing role of renewable gases, such as biogas; synthetic gases or hydrogen, in helping to enhance energy security, while reducing emissions. We charge the Secretariat to further foster the development of diversified, resilient, secure, competitive, transparent and flexible markets through regular reporting on natural gas and LNG market developments.

9.        We recognize the critical importance of electricity security during the continuous transition to low- and zero-emission energy systems characterized by growing shares of renewables and digitalization. We direct the Secretariat to work to build more secure, sustainable, flexible and resilient power systems by sharing best practices in policies, market designs and system operation to integrate increasing shares of variable renewables, foster diverse generation mixes and flexibility options as well as demand-side response.

10.      We acknowledge that the rising degree of digitalization exposes the energy sector to increased risks of cyberattacks that could jeopardize the security of energy supply. We instruct the Secretariat to identify ways countries can share best practices, including management of energy sector cybersecurity risks, approaches to regulation and incentives to enhance cybersecurity.

Energy transitions

11.       As the energy sector is the source of over 85% of global CO2 emissions, we recognise the critical role that policy and innovation must play to successfully combat climate change. We view energy transitions as crucial for a secure, affordable and sustainable energy future. We acknowledge that gaps remain between stated national ambitions and real-world trends and look to the IEA to play a central role in providing policy-relevant analysis to help countries build sustainable energy systems. In that regard, we welcome the success of the first two years of the IEA’s Clean Energy Transition Programme. We instruct the Secretariat to further strengthen its work in this area to support decision-makers on how to accelerate low-emission solutions and promote clean, sustainable, affordable, resilient and safe energy technologies for reaching both near and long-term objectives. We recognize the important role of innovation in this endeavour and welcome the efforts to make greater use of the expertise available in the IEAs Technology Collaboration Programmes.

12.       We acknowledge the central role energy efficiency plays in support of energy, economic and environmental goals and we welcome the Secretariat strengthening its energy efficiency activities. We applaud the establishment of the Energy Efficiency Hub within the IEA as a prospective powerful platform for collaboration among countries. We direct the Secretariat to further deepen its analysis, policy support and collaboration efforts on energy efficiency, focusing on the design and implementation of appropriate policies to deliver greater efficiency gains across the IEA and beyond.

13.      We welcome the rapid growth in renewable energy, particularly in the power sector, driven by cost reductions and policy efforts and acknowledge the important role of renewables in energy transitions. We welcome the Secretariat’s holistic analysis, which places variable renewable technologies in the broader energy context, encompassing all technology and fuel resources, the role of renewables for industry and for the transport and heating sectors and the increased attention to system integration and the important role of energy storage. We charge the Secretariat to further strengthen its work in this area to support decision-makers to accelerate the deployment of sustainable low- and zero-emission solutions to reach both near and long-term objectives.

Association and Beyond

14.      We welcome the strengthening and expanding of the Association initiative that has been achieved since its inception and applaud the substantive cooperation between the IEA and Association countries that now exists. We instruct the Secretariat, under the guidance of the Governing Board, to advance the Association initiative, based on a mutually-satisfactory balance of benefits and responsibilities, focusing on key issues of mutual interest including energy security, data and statistics, energy policy analysis, energy efficiency and support for the growing use of clean energy.

15.       For those countries seeking to go beyond Association, we direct the Secretariat to develop, under the guidance of the Governing Board, a framework – a “Strategic Partnership” – for the further strengthening of institutional ties, including potential paths to eventual IEA membership in accordance with the Agreement on an International Energy Programme.

16.      We appreciate the IEA’s growing and substantive co-operation with India across the full spectrum of IEA activities and welcome India’s expressed desire to strengthen this relationship further. We therefore instruct the Secretariat to invite India to participate in consultations, with the goal of framing deepened substantive cooperation and institutional relations, taking into consideration the discussion on potential paths mentioned above.

Capacity and capability

17.       We support the Secretariat’s efforts to build up and share knowledge to help tackle issues related to future human capacity needs, including equal opportunities for women and men in the energy sector.

18.      We reinforce our commitment to support the Secretariat through financing to enable the execution of the Agency’s Programme of Work, including the mandates in this Communiqué. We request the Committee on Budget and Expenditure to continue to focus intensively on this goal under continuous oversight of Members and reflecting the achievements of the Task Force on Long-term Financial Health and the resulting decision of the Governing Board.