T20 Organizes Workshop on Energy Governance in Shanghai
Shanghai, China, 27-28 July 2015 - The first T20 conference on energy in 2015 was held in Shanghai on 27-28 July, jointly by Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS), Lowy Institute for International Policy, Korea Development Institute (KDI), Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV). Taking the low oil prices as the center of the discussions, the conference concentrated on the role of G20 in global energy governance and coordination of energy policies in relation to climate change.
On 27th July, the first half day to the discussions were devoted to the global energy governance gaps in the evolving global energy landscape due to revolution of US shale gas and world economic slowdown. In order to address the governance gap properly, the discussants raised the importance of agreeing upon a broader definition of energy security which would include stable and affordable energy, equitable access to energy and environmentally sustainable energy. Although formation of a new initiation for global energy policy coordination was one of the agenda items, the general tendency was towards deploying the G20 to strengthen the existing energy institutions (IEA, IEF, OPEC, GECF, ECT and the secretariat of UNFCCC). Alternative scenarios for including China and other non-OPEC countries as a member of the International Energy Agency (IEA) and IEA’s voting scheme were also brought to the attention as a part of the energy policy coordination discussion.
In the afternoon, the nexus between energy, climate change and the G20, low-carbon transition of the economies, phasing out fossil fuel and coal divestment trends were discussed in detail. Bengisu Ozenc of TEPAV, in her speech, talked about the importance of comprehending the implications of energy infrastructure investments on sustainability: “Investment plans, as they are today, inquires a high risk of locking the global economy into a high-carbon one in the medium and long term. As both for the Turkish and Chinese presidency next year, and probably for Germany’s presidency as well, infrastructure investments will be top priority items in the G20 agenda. So it should be seized as an opportunity to addressing the sustainability concerns within investments through formulating a G20 investment plan for global infrastructure. Sustainable infrastructure investment principles should be globalized through the inclusion of AIIB, WB and MDBs. It would not only be critical for the prosperity of the world as a whole but also for the legitimacy of the G20.”
In his closing remarks Bozkurt Aran, Director of Trade Studies Center at TEPAV, talked about the priorities, namely the three Is, of the Turkish presidency (Investment, Inclusiveness and Implementation) and their close connection to the energy governance, security and investment issues. He also underlined the importance of the continuity of these priorities areas throughout the Chinese presidency. At the end of the conference a collaborative effort was paid by the participants to prepare a communiqué as a concrete output of the conference which will be passed onto the G20 governments.