Energy leaders from around the world gathered in Paris for the 2022 IEA Ministerial Meeting on 23 and 24 March, sending a strong message of unity on the need to strengthen energy security, reduce market volatility, and accelerate clean energy transitions worldwide, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Chaired by US Secretary of Energy, Jennifer M. Granholm, the two-day meeting of energy and climate ministers representing more than 40 governments from around the world took place amid the severe energy market turmoil and energy security concerns triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in March 2022. Yaroslav Demchenkov, Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Energy for European Integration, attended the meeting in person as a special guest, and Ukrainian Minister of Energy, Herman Halushchenko, participated virtually.
According to the IEA, ministers from IEA member countries approved a series of new mandates for the agency, covering areas such as ensuring energy security during the clean energy transition and leading the global energy sector’s fight against climate change, with a notable emphasis on expanding the IEA’s work on the critical minerals needed for clean energy technologies. The agency also received a significant funding boost from governments to enable it to significantly scale up its work supporting the global transition to clean energy, especially in emerging economies.
“The energy world is changing fast and needs to change faster still,” said Faith Birol, Executive Director of IEA, during the meeting. “The IEA is ready to support the twin goals of energy security and the clean energy transition, and I’m delighted that our Member Countries, under the leadership of Secretary Granholm, are giving us the responsibilities and the resources to tackle the major challenges of our time.”
The IEA explained that at side events, the ministers discussed how to ensure that clean energy transitions are people centred, how to eliminate policy and regulatory barriers to clean energy technologies, and how the international community can help Africa tackle the challenges and seize the opportunities of the shift to clean energy.
At a breakout session on critical minerals, ministers and business leaders discussed practical actions that government and industry can pursue to ensure reliable and sustainable supply of critical minerals. They also called for a strengthened role for the IEA to enhance mineral security in view of the new mandate and discussed how countries and industry can support this.
The ministerial meeting was also the opportunity for the IEA to welcome Lithuania as the 31st member country, and Argentina and Egypt as the latest emerging economies to become IEA association countries.
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