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01/10/2020

Addressing energy security

IEA expected to play major role in increasing global energy security

The IEA believes that future enrollment of current nonmember states would lead to enhancing global energy security, which is in an already complex and unstable situation, and contribute to the steadying of the oil market. With this in mind, the organization is planning to step up its efforts for further collaboration with them.

Additionally, the ministers acknowledged the importance of promoting energy innovation at the meeting, including the use of hydrogen, carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies and carbon recycling, to achieve a virtuous cycle of environment and growth. This concept of a positive cycle was agreed upon at the June G20 ministerial meeting in Karuizawa and the ensuing G20 Osaka summit.

State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yohei Matsumoto (center) speaks during a session at the ministerial meeting of the International Energy Agency in Paris on Dec. 6.

They also shared Japan’s efforts toward enhancing energy security amid increasingly complex and diversified situations on this particular topic. An instance involving energy security was the country’s large-scale blackout following a typhoon last year. One of Japan’s efforts shared during the meeting was financial assistance and support for nurturing skilled individuals to expand the liquefied natural gas market, particularly in emerging countries in Asia that are expected to experience rapid growth.

Pursuing all possible options

The IEA consists of energy-consuming countries, mainly those belonging to the OECD; many of them are in Europe. While some European countries strongly insist on decarbonization to comply with the 1.5-degree goal in the Paris Agreement, the IEA stresses that it places importance on all fuel sources and energy technologies in its annual flagship publication, the “World Energy Outlook 2019.”

In the publication, the organization argues that there is no simple or single solution to close the gap between the ideal introduced in the “Sustainable Development Scenario” that charts a path fully aligned with the Paris Agreement and the “Stated Policies Scenario,” which incorporates today’s policy goals and targets announced by national governments. These possible solutions include not only further promotion of energy efficiency and renewables, but also seek the energy from nuclear power, hydrogen and CCUS technologies. Thus, it stresses placing emphasis that “all fuels and technologies will be needed to reach sustainable energy goals.”

The IEA conducts well-balanced analysis respecting energy transformation efforts implemented under each respective country’s situation. The organization receives great support from its member countries in this regard.

While fulfilling a traditional role of obtaining energy security for the sake of energy-consuming nations, the IEA also seeks to create an effective framework and an adequate approach for those countries to solve the new important global task of climate change. The commitment and engagement of this organization is highly significant.

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