Addressing barriers hindering progress on low-emissions energy technologies is key to meeting climate goals

Enabling Net Zero International Cooperation To Address Barriers To Low Emissions Technology Uptake

From left to right: Fatih Birol, Executive Director, IEA; Brendan Pearson, OECD Ambassador, Australia; Mary Warlick, Deputy Executive Director, IEA; Kevin Gallagher, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Santos; Angus Taylor, Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction, Australia; Ben Van Beurden, Chief Executive Officer, Shell; Claudio Facchin, Chief Executive Officer, Hitachi Energy; Arifin Tasrif, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Indonesia; Pol Le Roux, Vice President, Downstream, Lynas Rare Earths.

Reaching net zero emissions by mid-century requires the rapid rollout of existing clean energy solutions such as solar and wind as well as major advances in low-carbon technologies that are still at the development stage. Yet the successful deployment of these technologies faces multiple barriers that go beyond the issue of cost.

Ministers, business leaders and international organisations met today in Paris at an event organised by the International Energy Agency to consider how to better adapt policy, regulatory and legislative frameworks to accelerate deployment of the clean energy and low emissions technologies crucial to meeting international climate goals.

The ministers and panellists emphasised that the private and public sectors must collaborate to eliminate barriers if they are to achieve their shared goals of building inclusive and resilient clean energy supply chains and economies, creating sustainable jobs, and driving clean investment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They agreed that solutions need to be tailored to fit national and regional circumstances. They also discussed supply chain issues that have recently come to the fore.

The event, held ahead of the IEA’s 2022 Ministerial Meeting, was co-chaired by Angus Taylor, Australia’s Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction, and Arifin Tasrif, Indonesia’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources. Indonesia holds the presidency of the G20 while Australia along with the IEA will host the Indo-Pacific Clean Energy Supply Chain Forum in July. The event included top executives from leading energy and technology companies.

The IEA provides unrivalled global data, analysis and modelling on clean energy technologies, including in its flagship Energy Technology Perspectives series. The Agency has been monitoring the development and rollout of the key technologies through platforms such as Tracking Clean Energy Progress. The IEA is also leading the tracking work under the Glasgow Breakthroughs agreed at last year’s COP26 Climate Change Conference.

Emerging technologies – including electrolytic hydrogen, advanced batteries and direct air capture – are expected to deliver substantial reductions in a pathway to net zero emissions by 2050. There is a need for internationally agreed standards and certification schemes to create confidence in these new markets. With its expertise and convening power, the IEA is well placed to bring together public and private sector stakeholders to facilitate the development of global markets for low-emission technologies and to support the establishment of robust standards, policies and reporting frameworks.

Following today’s discussions, Minister Taylor and Minister Tasrif said they would present a series of recommendations to the wider IEA family of countries. These include recognising the IEA’s technical and analytical expertise; identifying practical actions that industry, government and international organisations can take to drive down the cost of low emission technologies; agreeing on the need to address regulatory, financial and supply chain barriers to deployment; and requesting that the IEA continue to facilitate and coordinate international cooperation on technology and sectoral decarbonisation.

The 2022 IEA Ministerial Meeting is taking place in Paris on 23 and 24 March under the theme of accelerating global action on clean energy and energy security. It is chaired by US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. Ministers from IEA Member, Association and Accession countries, and other key partners, are taking part in the events along with top representatives from industry, finance and civil society.