Ministers of the G7 group of advanced economies today recognised multiple aspects of the IEA’s work on the clean energy transition and energy security, including a recent major report on how to put carbon dioxide emissions from heavy industries such as steel and cement on a path towards net zero.
After a two-day meeting in Berlin under Germany’s 2022 Presidency of the G7, Climate, Energy and Environment Ministers issued a communiqué setting out a wide range of actions to tackle “the triple global crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution” while condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and warning of its consequences.
The IEA’s analysis and activities were cited throughout the communiqué, spanning many key areas including efforts to improve energy efficiency, the need for increased investment in renewables, tracking of methane emissions, ensuring sufficient critical mineral supplies for clean energy technologies, and the IEA’s “timely” 10-Point Plan to Reduce the European Union’s Reliance on Russian Natural Gas and 10-Point Plan to Cut Oil Use, which were produced in response to the energy market impacts of Russia’s invasion.
Notably, the G7 Ministers committed to the goal of achieving predominantly decarbonised electricity sectors by 2035, as mapped out in an IEA report on the topic last October.
Today’s communiqué devoted particular attention the IEA’s recent report on Achieving Net Zero Heavy Industry Sectors in G7 Members, which was produced at the request of Germany’s G7 Presidency. The report lays out a series of recommendations for G7 economies to advance the transition towards near zero emission steel and cement production, building on the IEA’s landmark 2021 report Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector.
“We welcome the report by the International Energy Agency on ‘Achieving Net Zero Heavy Industry Sectors in G7 Members’, especially its recommendations regarding the suitable policies and financing mechanisms on the pathway to near zero industry production and the suggested principles of common and practicable definitions of near-zero-emission materials production,” the Ministers said in the communiqué. The Ministerial meeting was led by Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection Robert Habeck and Federal Minister for the Environment and Consumer Protection Steffi Lemke.
IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol addressed the G7 Ministers twice yesterday. His first presentation concerned the situation regarding global energy markets, the energy security challenges exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the state of the clean energy transition. His second took place in a special session devoted to the decarbonisation of heavy industries, which was focused around the analysis in the recent IEA report.
“I’m delighted by the close collaboration between the IEA and Germany's G7 Presidency under Minister Robert Habeck on how to meet the global challenge of bringing emissions from heavy industries to net zero,” said Dr Birol. “Our new report, and the G7’s backing of its recommendations, provides vital foundations for future international action.”
The IEA’s heavy industry work also significantly informed an annex to the G7 Ministerial communiqué on the Industrial Decarbonisation Agenda.