The Role of G20 in Renewable Energy and the Global Energy Transition

The Role of G20 in Renewable Energy and the Global Energy Transition

Key Highlights

  • The world is converting to renewable energy to combat climate change. But today, G20 growing economies and G7 nations struggle with energy transformation.
  • To leave no one behind, just energy transitions and sustainable development must balance environmental conservation and human economic success. In view of the climate issue, G20 rising economies will need G7 partnerships to cut carbon emissions.
  • According to December 2022 WHO data, climate change and air pollution threaten Thailand, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Egypt, South Korea, Brazil, Turkey, and Japan the most.
  • The EU's WaveRoller project is building an Atlantic Coast WEC network. The US Department of Energy recently announced $40 million in wave energy research funding. Both projects harness the potential of ocean waves.


Energy transition is the worldwide energy sector's change from fossil-based energy production and consumption, such as oil, natural gas, and coal, to renewable energy sources, including wind, solar, and lithium-ion batteries. 

Advancements in renewable energy, electrification, and energy storage are driving energy transition. With investors prioritising environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns, while regulation and decarbonisation commitments have been inconsistent, energy transition is more important than ever.  

The European Union joins the United States, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Australia to form the Group of Twenty (G20). Over 85% of global GDP, 75% of global trade, and almost two-thirds of the world's population come from the G20 nations. 

International economic cooperation centres on the G20 nations. It influences global economic governance and architecture. Thus, the G20's emerging economies need to work together to achieve carbon neutrality and assist in the equitable energy transition by forming partnerships, generating funds, expanding access to underserved populations, and so on. 

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The Role of the G20 in Shaping Global Energy Policies

To address climate change, the world is switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy. However, today, G20 rising economies and G7 nations face energy transition difficulties. 

Just energy transitions and sustainable development must balance environmental conservation and human economic progress to leave no one behind. With the policy brief, G20 emerging economies will need to collaborate with the G7 nations (and in turn) to reduce carbon emissions in their economies in light of the climate crisis. 

These joint initiatives will increase investments and commitment, creating enormous prospects for social and economic development and sustainable jobs in ecological industries across the globe. This policy brief offers efficient methods to achieve a just transition framework for inclusion in society, integration, and cooperation. 

Energy Transition Challenges

Thailand, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Egypt, South Korea, Brazil, Turkey, and Japan are most at risk from climate change and air pollution, according to December 2022 WHO data.

According to the International Energy Agency’s report in 2022, coal and other fossil fuels for electricity generation cause high CO2 emissions. With that, G20 rising economies must partner, raise funds, improve access to marginalised individuals, and work towards carbon neutrality to assist the equitable energy transition.

Available Solutions and Technologies Encompass the Three Main Difficulties of the Energy Transition

The three main energy transition difficulties faced by the G20 and G7 emerging economies all go back to the availability and usage of all the available solutions and technologies. 

First, lack of access to modern energy sources results in the utilisation of traditional fuels, which adds to carbon emissions. This can be seen in some G20 countries like India, Indonesia, and Brazil. Energy instability in these nations doesn’t just affect their environment. It also impoverishes families by affecting their socioeconomic status. 

Secondly, developed nations that have easy access to energy are major contributors to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As per Ivanova and Wood’s research in 2020, Germany, Greece, and Ireland produce 2.4 tonnes of per capita emissions annually. 

The third challenge is the adoption of modern energy sources and technologies. This issue mainly stems from the two above. 

Historically, energy shifts have typically been driven by the need to utilise a newly discovered energy source, with little thought given to the potential negative effects on society or the natural environment. Top-down reforms are overseen by centralised energy systems controlled by a small number of corporations. 

However, the current transformation involves many cross-sectorial stakeholders that are more informed by public policy and more likely to include those socioeconomic groupings immediately affected. 

Outlook for the Future

India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and South Africa will need more energy and a balanced energy mix to transition. Thus, the G7 and G20's emerging economies should prioritise the health sector, poverty reduction, and economic growth, which align with other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

To achieve this transition to sustainable and renewable energy sources in the future, the G20 should invest in the research and development of new renewable energy sources for more secure energy production and aid other developing nations through blended financial and technological transfers. 

Aside from that, water security, food security, social justice and society, technology, and skills and development must also be priorities. 

There are lots of renewable energy sources that can be tapped. One of those sources is the potential of ocean waves. 

Water covers more than 70% of Earth's surface, and the waves in the ocean have a tremendous amount of kinetic energy that can run generators and produce electricity. As a result, several novel ocean wave energy converters (WECs) have been developed to harness and transform this plentiful natural resource into reliable electricity. 

The European Union's WaveRoller project, for example, is working to set up a network of WECs throughout the Atlantic coast. The United States is likewise making significant investments in wave energy research; the Department of Energy has just announced $40 million in financing for the advancement of WEC technologies. 

Envisioning a Collective Energy Shift

G20 nations must now use their combined economic might, technological prowess, and shared pledges to accelerate a worldwide shift to clean energy.

The G20's collaborative efforts can serve as a model for international cooperation, proving that a brighter future based on renewable energy sources is not only feasible but necessary for the survival of our planet and the next generation.

Let's make use of this window of opportunity to transform the energy sector into one that is safer, more stable, and more accessible for all people.

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