IEA convenes 200 leaders from across society for first Global Summit on people-centred clean energy transitions

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Participants from around the world representing government, labour, business and youth meet to discuss strategies for prioritising fairness and inclusion in policy making

Over 200 people from more than 50 countries are meeting at the International Energy Agency’s headquarters in Paris today for the first ever Global Summit on People-Centred Clean Energy Transitions. This groundbreaking event provides a vital in-person platform for government ministers, policy makers, labour leaders, business executives, youth representatives, Indigenous voices and other international stakeholders to address some of the most pressing social and economic issues at the heart of efforts to achieve fair and inclusive energy transitions. 

The Summit, chaired by IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol, is an opportunity to drive progress towards a collective understanding of what adopting a “people-centred” approach to clean energy transitions means in practice. It will address issues such as how to define and track the inclusiveness and social impacts of clean energy transitions – a major priority for international forums such as the G20 and UN COP summits.

A wide range of ministers and senior government officials from around the world are set to deliver remarks, including Chile’s Minister of Energy Diego Pardow, Indonesia’s Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources Arifin Tasrif, and Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo. In all, nearly 30 trade union leaders representing some 200 million workers globally are attending, as well as government representatives from 35 countries across Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and North and South America.

“As the transformation of the global energy system gathers speed, we have to stay focused on ensuring that clean energy transitions benefit everyone, especially the most vulnerable in societies. It should bring people together to deliver better lives, better health and a better planet,” Dr Birol said. “The first ever Global Summit on People-Centred Clean Energy Transitions sends a clear signal to the world: We need to ensure that the perspectives of labour, youth, Indigenous peoples and other key groups are effectively integrated into clean energy transition plans. These transitions will only succeed if they benefit the people that need them most.”

At the Summit, Dr Birol is announcing that the IEA will convene a new independent Global Commission on People-Centred Clean Energy Transitions, with a focus on the theme of Designing for Fairness. The Global Commission will develop actionable policy recommendations for energy and climate ministers and international decision makers on how to fully realise the benefits of clean energy transitions, especially for vulnerable communities.

Sessions throughout the day will highlight opportunities and challenges as countries strive to build cleaner and more just energy systems. The first session addresses the critical topic of jobs: While the global number of clean energy positions is expanding rapidly, careful policy planning with participation from all workers and communities must be a priority. Participants are also discussing the imperative of advancing gender equity through transitions – including by expanding access to electricity and clean cooking supplies, an issue that disproportionately affects women. The IEA and its global partners will host a high-level Summit on Clean Cooking in Africa in Paris next month.

Other sessions explore how to craft clean energy policies to maximise social benefits, especially for lower-income populations, and effective strategies for engaging people as active participants in the planning process for clean energy projects.

In recent years, the IEA has expanded its work on people-centred clean energy transitions at the request of governments, convening the initial Global Commission on People-Centred Clean Energy Transitions in 2021 to help identify key issues, as well as the Clean Energy Labour Council, a group of 18 labour union leaders that aims to give a greater voice to the labour perspective in energy and climate policy discussions, in 2022. The Agency also recently launched the Global Observatory on People-Centred Clean Energy Transitions, a repository of global best practices on the design and implementation of people-centred clean energy policies.