Six steps to energy sustainability and security

  • 28 June 2016
ICC Responsible business

The International Chamber for Commerce (ICC) has produced a set of business recommendations on energy sustainability and security for G20 Energy ministers preparing for the Hangzhou G20 Leaders’ Summit scheduled to take place in September.

Developed by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) G20 CEO Advisory Group, the recommendations aim to help maintain momentum in the wake of increased focus on energy and climate change in the 2015 Antalya G20 Leader’s Communiqué.

“The Hangzhou Summit has the potential to ensure that energy and climate issues continue to receive appropriate attention in G20 deliberations at the leaders’ level,” said ICC CEO Advisory Group Director Jeffrey Hardy. “Effective and predictable policy and legal frameworks will be critical to ensure that adequate and appropriate energy investment occurs now and over the coming decades.”

To attain investment requirements, the ICC G20 CEO Advisory Group has put forward six pragmatic recommendations to G20 leaders summarized as follows:

Step 1: Utilize a broad energy mix to drive sustainable development

According to the recommendations, each source of energy presents opportunities and constraints, which may differ according to local circumstances. The ICC CEO G20 Advisory Group encourages G20 leaders to keep all energy source options open to reduce dependency on any one form.

Step 2: Establish stable regulatory frameworks to attract energy investment and manage the long-term transition to secure and sustainable global energy systems

Given the long-term natures of energy innovation, energy investment and energy infrastructure, stable policy and regulatory frameworks are essential and should be designed to (i) ensure long-term energy security; (ii) make energy in all forms more efficient and affordable; (iii) mitigate price volatility; (iv) promote sustainable energy delivery and consumption and access to reliable and modern energy services; and (v) generate positive societal, economic and environmental impacts.

Step 3: Increase research and development investments for innovative energy technology

While technology development and deployment are integral to achieving many future global energy objectives, investment in energy research has declined on a global scale for the last few decades. Accelerating energy R&D should be a global priority, and the G20 must accelerate R&D investment and strengthen and enlarge the supply of well- trained scientists, engineers and technicians necessary for global energy R&D to revive and succeed.

Step 4: Promote and prioritize energy efficiency

Underscoring business support for energy efficiency as a critical component of any comprehensive sustainable energy strategy, the recommendations call for continued efforts to promote and support energy efficiency across industries and to promote adoption of energy-efficient behaviors and devices by energy consumers through education, regulation and incentives.

Step 5: Improve global energy governance and coordinate international efforts

According to the recommendations a holistic view that includes careful consideration of energy mix and diversification is critical to addressing long-term energy issues and risks and to mitigating the cross-sectoral impacts of price or supply volatility. Step 5 calls for integrated economic, energy and environmental policies to be formulated and implemented at the national level, taking current realities and international agreements into account.

Step 6: Increase worldwide access to clean, modern forms of energy in accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #7, with emphasis on Africa and the Asia-Pacific region.

With at least 1.1 billion people living without access to electricity and 2.7 billion people without access to clean, modern energy for cooking, the ICC recommendations call on G20 leaders to make long-term access to energy and energy security a priority. The recommendations encourage G20 support for choices and access within the framework of international cooperation and global markets including close cooperation with international organizations to coordinate efforts towards energy access in developing countries and partnerships with international organizations and the private sector to improve the potential for financing and implementation of initiatives related to energy-access and energy efficiency.

Download ICC’s Six steps to energy sustainability and security.