Speech by H.E. Ali Rıza Alaboyun, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources
Distinguished press members,
I am delighted that the first meeting of the G20 Energy Ministers has taken place during the Turkish Presidency in Istanbul.
We have just concluded our meeting. We have realized effective discussions all day long and adopted a Communiqué through which we have reached concrete results.
Energy has a special importance among our G20 priorities. Turkey, as country with an increasing energy demand, is in a position of knowing very well the importance of energy security.
We believe that in matters related to energy, energy security ranking first, the strengthening of international cooperation and dialogue constitutes an absolute must. In that respect we welcome the increasing role of energy within the G20.
The participation and address of our President to G20 members and the private sector during the opening session of our meeting, demonstrates clearly the importance we are giving to this issue.
On the date of December 1st, 2014, we compiled our priorities under three main titles : Implementation, Investments and Inclusiveness.
With the objective of Implementation, we were aiming at establishing trust in global markets, including of course the energy markets. As would know, the most efficient way to establish trust is to deliver on the taken commitments. The decision of G20 to put implementation in the forefront, played a critical importance in contributing to increasing the trust for G20.
We have aimed together with investments to support a sustainable growth creating employment. It is calculated that there is an investment need amounting to 70 trillion Dollars up to 2030 to overcome the gap on global infrastructure investment. We know that developing countries need each year an infrastructure investment amounting to 1.5 trillion of Dollars. It is of special importance to increase the share of energy investments within the energy investments. We are concerned that any stagnation in the energy investments in light especially of falling oil prices would have long term consequences. We have as well taken up this issue as the Energy Ministers.
Under inclusiveness we have aimed at two issues.
First, our objective is to establish an inclusive growth in the G20 countries. At this stage, we have also realized works for the women, youth and SME’s to have a stronger place in our economies.
Second, we aimed at strengthening the dialogue and cooperation of G20 with especially developing countries with low income.
We have taken steps to move forward our priority of inclusiveness within the energy agenda especially through the energy access issue.
Distinguished press members,
Upon the end of our meeting today, we have decided to continue our works to take forward the G20 Energy Principles on Collaboration adopted by our Leaders last year.
As Turkey, we have given special importance this year to the first of these principles, namely energy access for all.
As I have stated earlier, energy access is directly linked to our inclusiveness priority.
As Ministers, we have adopted in today’s meeting a G20 Energy Access Action Plan with a special focus on Sub-Saharan Africa.
I would like to briefly clarify why we have opted for energy access and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Energy access, because worldwide 1.3 billion people do not have access to electricity access.
It means that these people can not benefit of nutrition, health and other basic infrastructure services in their modern terms.
As this is a problem at global level, ensuring energy access for all constitutes one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals which have been adopted during the UN Development Summit.
It is indeed very important that the G20 countries, which make up 85% of the world economy, take steps on such an important global issue.
And why are we concentrating on Sub-Saharan Africa ?
Our Energy Access Action Plan, which is determining that this issue is of a global nature, highlights that the effects of this issue are most acute in Africa.
More than half of the population living in Sub-Saharan Africa, in total 620 million, are living without access to electricity.
Unfortunately, with current investment trends it will not be possible to change this situation.
Currently, in Sub-Saharan Africa about 1-2 GW of new installed capacity deployed a year.
By this way, energy access rate has been increased less than 1% in Africa in the past decade.
If this trend continues this way, nearly half of the population in the Sub-Saharan Africa will continue to live without having access to electricity.
In order to prevent this, we should increase the current energy investments in Africa significantly and boost the annual additional installed capacity to the level of 6-7 GW.
In order to achieve this, we should encourage private sector investors to invest in Africa.
As Turkey, we have increased our economic relations with Africa substantially in the past ten years.
We acknowledge that many of the African countries bear less risks and have more potential than we assume.
We, the G20 Energy Ministers, have convened yesterday with our African colleagues, institutional investors and private sector representatives in order to reveal the potential of Africa and to address what could be done in terms of access to energy in Africa during the G20 Conference on Energy Access in Sub-Saharan Africa.
This Conference and the contacts we had with our African counterparts during our Presidency have been very fruitful in terms of the Action Plan we will adopt as the G20.
Esteemed members of press,
The other important agenda item that we discussed as Ministers was renewable energy.
As you know, global energy demand continues to increase rapidly. It is very important to introduce both safe and clean energy technologies and to meet our energy demand in a sustainable manner.
At this point, I should say that renewable energy has become an increasingly important source lately.
From this point of view, as the G20 Energy Ministers, today, we have adopted a document which presents options on how to increase renewable energy investments.
Our target is to further increase the share of renewable energy by deepening the information and experience exchange among us while taking into consideration the specific conditions of each country.
Energy security and the transparency of the energy market has been another important agenda item that we focused on today.
We agreed on the need to further enhance our cooperation in order to enable energy security. At this juncture, we have reiterated the importance of increasing the transparency of data on energy markets.
Moreover we have had fruitful talks on rationalizing and phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies as agreed by our Leaders in 2009 and what could be done on the issues such as innovation, technology and information sharing.
At this point, I would like to emphasize the importance of the continuation of the energy investments in current market conditions where the oil prices are in decline. We have had useful discussions on this topic.
As the Turkish Presidency, this year we requested all G 20 countries to prepare their investment strategies. These strategies will be adopted by our Leaders at the Antalya Summit.
I would like to underline that energy investments among investment strategies have a particular share and importance.
We consider that developing a common understanding on the energy investments by the G20 that bring together the leading producer, transit and consumer countries of the world is significant.
Additionally, l would like to underline that we have reached a common understanding on the steps to be taken on the implementation of the G20 Energy Efficiency Action Plan that was adopted by our Leaders last year.
Distinguished press members,
One of the topics we address was the climate change.
2015 is a critical year in terms of climate change.
COP21 meeting to be held in Paris in December will be utmost important in terms of establishing the future framework of global collaboration on climate.
As the G20 Energy Ministers, we have underscored our strong support to reach a positive and balanced outcome through this UN process.
Furthermore, we have emphasized that there are steps we can take particularly on energy efficiency and clean energy technologies, while underlining the importance of energy in terms of climate change.
I am convinced that that G20 Energy Ministers meeting held in Istanbul, the first of its kind in G20 history, has been successfully concluded.
The Communiqué we have adopted today constitutes a comprehensive framework in further improving the G20 Principles on Energy Collaboration in line with the mandate given by our Leaders last year.
We have decided to convene again during China’s Presidency in 2016, to continue addressing these issues.
This decision is a clear indication that energy issues will continue to be high on the agenda of G20.
I am very pleased that I have had the privilege to host my distinguished colleagues at this first G20 Energy Ministers’ meeting.
I have had fruitful discussions with them all. We have jointly succeeded in concluding this first meeting as well as the Communiqué.