G7 Ministers welcome key IEA work on energy security and clean energy transitions

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Climate, Energy and Environment Ministers draw extensively on IEA analysis and activities as they agree communiqué at meeting under Japan’s G7 Presidency

Ministers of the G7 group of advanced economies today gave strong recognition to many areas of the IEA’s work on clean energy transitions and energy security – including critical minerals, energy efficiency, renewables, natural gas, hydrogen, emissions from road transport and coal, and the decarbonisation of heavy industries.

After a two-day meeting in Sapporo under Japan’s 2023 Presidency of the G7, Climate, Energy and Environment Ministers issued a communiqué setting out aims to strengthen energy security and accelerate progress on clean energy transitions.

The IEA’s analysis and activities were cited throughout the communiqué, covering key areas such as efforts to improve energy efficiency, accelerate the deployment of renewables, scale up low-emissions hydrogen, and bring down emissions from road transport and heavy industry.

For critical minerals, a major area where international cooperation is needed to ensure secure clean energy transitions, the Ministers committed to a Five-Point Plan for Critical Minerals Security that the IEA will support, including by producing medium- and long-term outlooks for critical minerals demand and supply to help inform decision making.

Ministers welcomed the recent IEA reports on the emissions intensity of hydrogen production, on measuring the emissions of the steel industry, and on managing seasonal variability of renewables, as well as the Agency’s work on regulatory frameworks for energy efficiency and on natural gas security. The communiqué also cited IEA work on net zero pathways, innovation and emissions from coal and road transport.

Stressing the importance of energy efficiency for both energy security and clean energy transitions – especially in the context of the current energy crisis – the G7 Ministers asked the IEA to “assess the impacts demand reductions measures have already had in response to current pressures to identify and share best practices, and make recommendations”.

The Ministers also said they will invite the IEA with support from relevant organisations to “report on the various actions to accelerate the phase-out of domestic unabated coal power in a manner consistent with a just transition”. In addition, the planned G7 actions on industry decarbonisation were detailed in an annex to the communiqué that drew heavily on IEA analysis.

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol addressed the G7 Ministers on the first day of the Sapporo meeting. He highlighted that the clean energy economy is emerging faster than many people think, notably in areas such as solar PV, electric cars and heat pumps – and he urged governments to carefully take these developments into account in their policy actions.

Dr Birol also underscored the importance of making supply chains for clean energy technologies more secure, diverse and sustainable – an area that was analysed in detail in the IEA’s recent Energy Technology Perspectives 2023.

In Sapporo, Dr Birol met bilaterally with Ministers and special envoys from across the G7 nations, as well as from guest countries India (which holds the G20 Presidency), Indonesia (which holds the ASEAN Presidency), and the United Arab Emirates (which holds the COP28 Presidency).