The Failure of G20 Energy Transition Discussion

Press Release

AEER Association and 350 Indonesia


September 24, 2022

“The energy transition discussion in the G20 is certain to fail,” said Suriadi Darmoko, 350 Indonesia Finance Campaigner. “The ministerial meeting of the G20 countries on the issue of energy transition didn’t reach a communique. It was a long series of meetings that only resulted in a chair’s summary and the Bali COMPACT agreement, which is voluntary. Because of that, I think the effort to conduct energy transition to fulfill the Paris Agreement, has failed.”

One issue prioritized in the G20 is sustainable energy transition with the working group under energy transition, environment, and climate sustainability. The issue is oriented toward a common cause, to achieve Paris Agreement, limiting the global temperature to 1.5º Celsius at the pre-industrial level. Regarding this issue, Energy Transitions Ministerial Meeting (ETMM) was held, which ultimately failed to reach a communique or a statement of joint commitment.

The long process by the working group of the energy transition, environment, and climate sustainability has only resulted in a chair’s summary and the Bali Compact, which implementation is voluntary. If those are agreed upon at the G20 summit, there will be no responsibility from the G20 countries to execute those agreements.

Darmoko continues to explain that, 75 percent of the global demand for energy comes from G20 countries. “This means, the climate crisis that is happening right now is caused by G20 countries. Even though they are the cause of the climate crisis, it seems that the urgency to deal with the climate crisis is not prioritized in G20.

The voluntary aspect of these G20 countries will only stray us further from achieving the common goal in the Paris Agreement. “G7 and G20 countries lack the political will to transition to renewable energy 100 percent. Instead, it’s becoming more oriented with clean energy narrative that has been compromised by false solutions from fossil energy”, explained Darmoko.

On the other hand, criticism of the current centralistic energy management was made by Pius Ginting, Ecology Action and People Emancipation (AEER) Coordinator. He thinks that the current energy policy is conducted in a very top-down manner. “The civil society participation is not involved in our energy policies”.

The world is currently on its way to trying to overcome the climate change issue by transitioning fossil energy to renewable energy. “Energy understanding, planning, and utilization are very crucial in every effort to tackle climate change and create a sustainable, just, and resilient future. There is a need to expand the distribution of renewable and distributed sources. Thus, emerges the concept of energy democracy that reflects the growing political awareness of energy governance and climate policy.”

Currently, the electricity policy, for example, in the Electricity Procurement Plan (RUPTL) which still accommodates the establishment of new coal-fired power plants (PLTU) when Indonesia is only 8 years away from peak emissions in 2030. The development of fossil-based power plants is very centralized. “As a result of this undemocratic energy policy, preparations for a just transition haven’t materialized, such as the preparation for job transfers from fossil energy, the acceleration of the provision of renewable energy in an enormous amount,” said Pius

While energy policies are still centralized and fully dependent on fossil energy, Bali, as the location for the G20 meeting, Bali’s vulnerability to the climate crisis continues to increase. The trend of hydrometeorology continues to increase. According to I Nyoman Gede Wiryajaya, Center for Meteorology and Geophysics Region III, in the future, the rain will be shorter with higher intensity.

“Bali, its air temperature is experiencing an increase in the trend, the trend of the rainy season continues to grow and also the dry season which will be longer in the future. Thus, more disasters will happen,” said I Nyoman.

“The prolonged energy transition, the transition agenda that goes backward, and then advocating for false energy is the same as they are letting Bali as the G20 meeting location, become more vulnerable and more threatened by the climate crisis,”

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