Dr Fatih Birol, the International Energy Agency’s Executive Director, held talks with global energy leaders at the Eighth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM8) in Beijing this week, including meeting with Secretary Rick Perry, the United States Energy Secretary, Minister Wan Gang, China’s Minister of Science and Technology, and Mr Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission.
The CEM is a partnership of 25 key countries, including most of the G20 economies, representing 90% of clean energy investment and working together to accelerate the global energy transition. IEA experts, including Dr Birol, participated in a large number of CEM-related sessions and side-events, spanning a wide variety of topics, including carbon storage, electric vehicle deployment, and flexible power plants. The IEA also launched its annual Energy Technology Perspectives 2017 on the sideline of the conference
During his discussion with Secretary Perry, Dr Birol emphasized that the IEA’s work programme extended to all energy sources and technologies, consistent with an “all-of-the-above energy policy.” Secretary Perry reiterated that the US was committed to energy innovation and technology development, areas in which the US has a strong leadership position. They also discussed Dr Birol’s upcoming visit to the United States in July.
Dr Birol congratulated Minister Wan and China for successfully hosting the CEM8, underscoring China’s progress in clean energy technology. Minister Wan thanked Dr Birol for the IEA’s decisive role in the success of the CEM and added China was committed to maintaining its dynamic relationship with the CEM Secretariat, which is hosted at the IEA in Paris.
Minister Wan reiterated China’s continued support for the new CEM initiatives and campaigns, including the new EV30@30 challenge and the Pilot City programme. He said he would look for ways to further increase China’s EV deployment, including with the participation of Chinese private enterprises.
In his meeting with Mr Šefčovič, Dr Birol emphasized that the IEA stood ready to support preparations for the CEM9 meeting next year, which will be hosted by the European Union, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
Dr Birol and Mr Šefčovič discussed developments in the energy markets and their implications for Europe and reviewed recent global events and their likely impact on energy security.
Earlier in the week, both Secretary Perry and Minister Wan participated in a high-level forum on carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), which was held by China and the IEA. Other participants also included Jim Carr, the energy minister of Canada, Terje Søviknes, Minister of Petroleum and Energy of Norway, as well as heads of delegation from Australia and the European Commission, along with leaders from the industry and key organisations. Dr Birol thanked both Minister Wan and Secretary Perry for their participation in the event, and said it was a key CEM initiative that can bring a diverse group of countries together.