Assuring that the global energy sector’s development is people-centered

Reducing global greenhouse gas emissions in line with the COP26 Climate Change Conference targets will necessitate a radical change of the energy industry, but this can only happen if it benefits people and has their support.

Ministers, business executives, and civil society representatives gathered in Paris today for an event hosted by the International Energy Agency to discuss how to make their clean energy transition policies more people-centered and inclusive.

On behalf of Dan Jrgensen, Denmark’s Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities, Dr. Anders Hoffmann, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Danish Ministry for Climate, Energy and Utilities, hosted the event, which took place immediately prior of the IEA Ministerial Meeting in 2022. Sharan Burrow, the General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, was among the attendees, as were energy ministers from Canada, Chile, Colombia, South Africa, and a number of other countries. Chiagozie Udeh, the Global Focal Point for the UN Sustainable Development Goal 7 Youth Constituency, spoke about energy transitions from a young person’s perspective.

Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), created the Global Commission on People-Centred Clean Energy Transitions in early 2021 to bring together perspectives from governments and civil society. The Global Commission, chaired by Minister Jrgensen and co-chaired by Sophie Gladima, Senegal’s Minister for Petroleum and Energy, held a series of meetings last year under the leadership of Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. Its work culminated in 12 suggestions, which were released ahead of COP26 to help decision-makers take a people-centered approach to clean energy policymaking, ensuring that the benefits and costs of the transformation of our energy system are spread fairly.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has expanded its efforts to encourage broad social participation in the development of policies for the clean energy transition by convening a Clean Energy Labour Council, which held its first meeting earlier this month and will focus on issues such as jobs, skills, and training. While the significant investments required to alter our energy systems will create a significant number of employment, they will not always be in the same regions or require the same skills as the occupations they will replace.

The Global Commission’s particular proposals were considered at today’s meeting, and the IEA Secretariat was asked to prepare a work program to enhance its work on people-centered issues. The International Energy Agency (IEA) will continue to collaborate with governments, labor unions, corporations, and other stakeholders around the world to ensure that clean energy transitions are truly people-centered and inclusive.

On the 23rd and 24th of March, the IEA Ministerial Meeting 2022 will be held in Paris, with the topic of advancing global action on clean energy and energy security. Jennifer M. Granholm, the US Secretary of Energy, serves as its chairperson. Ministers from IEA Member, Association, and Accession countries, as well as other key partners, will be in attendance, as will top executives from business, finance, and civil society.