BRICS Energy Ministers acknowledge role of energy in economic development, issue joint communiqué
BRICS Energy Ministers expressed their commitment to further strengthening energy cooperation among members of the group
BRICS Energy Ministers under the presidency of India held their meeting virtually on Thursday and adopted a joint communiqué, acknowledging the crucial role of energy in promoting social and economic development, as well as environmental protection. Here are broad outlines of the joint communiqué:
1. We underscore the prime importance of securing universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy in line with Sustainable Development Goal 7. In this regard, we commit to modernise national energy systems, increase the role of clean energy including renewables and continue to pursue the efficient use of all fuels and advanced technologies to satisfy the energy needs of our populations and economies and promote universal access to energy and eradication of energy poverty.
2. In these difficult times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we note that electricity security and resilient energy systems are more indispensable than ever for providing uninterrupted supply of energy. We commend the contribution made byenergy professionals in BRICS Countries and efforts taken by international communities to cope with the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the energy sector. We emphasize the importance of efficient operation of energy systems and just clean energy transitions for the robust, sustainable and inclusive recovery.
3. We fully recognize the relationship between energy and climate and the importance of lowering GHG emissions for mitigation as well as the need for adaptation of the energy sector to climate change as envisaged in the Paris Agreement. We agree for a pragmatic, equitable and economically viable approach towards reaching energy and climate goals including Paris Agreement temperature goals through building cleaner sustainable low-GHG emission energy systems in accordance with national priorities. We note with concern the appearance, in the context of response to climate change discussions, of mechanisms or policies which could negatively affect particular energy industries and hamper modernization of the energy sector. We acknowledge the need to remove barriers and facilitate trade and investments in global energy markets.
4. We highly value intra-BRICS cooperation in the field of energy which plays a positive role in strengthening our energy security and promoting economic growth. We will continue to work to reinforce and deepen collaborative actions in the area in line with the agreed Road map through strengthening BRICS Energy Research Cooperation Platform (ERCP) and other means and mechanisms as appropriate. We will strive to improve the conditions for investment in the energy sector, while paying special attention to project preparation and financing.
BRICS Cooperation in Energy Access and Affordability
5. Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all is crucial for social and economic development and lifting people from poverty. We note with satisfaction the achievements of BRICS countries in fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goal-7. We believe that eradication of energy poverty and ensuring universal access, to energy in particular electricity, should remain on top of the global energy agenda and be pursued through effective utilization of all energy resources, paying special attention to the energy needs of vulnerable populations in terms of accessibility and affordability.
6. We also acknowledge the importance of applying various clean cooking solutions to improve health, productivity and quality of life of people, particularly women, children and youth.
7. We note the existing gap in fulfilment of SDG7 and fighting energy poverty and the necessity to increase international attention to these issues in particular within the framework of UN High Level Dialogue on energy. Current actions on SDG7 could benefit from an improved account of national circumstances and economic realities of different countries. Diverse and rich experience of BRICS in the attainment of universal energy access can serve as a sound basis for promotion of the greater role of the five countries in global efforts towards SDG7. In this context we will explore the establishment of a new priority area under the auspices of ERCP devoted to the universal energy access to contribute to the analysis of the situation, sharing of best practices, providing expertise, technical assistance, and capacity building.
BRICS Cooperation in Energy Security and Clean Technology
8.We recognise the crucial role of cooperation in transitioning towards cleaner, more flexible energy efficient systems that combine inclusive growth with decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, while ensuring energy security, access to energy, sustainability and affordability. We acknowledge the importance of varied sources of energy, diversification of energy mix, improved infrastructure and technological advances for strengthening energy security. New challenges related to energy transitions, integration of intermittent energy sources, digitalisation and malicious use of ICT technologies must also be addressed. We recognize that energy security, including a stable energy supply, secure supply of critical minerals and components as well as beneficiation and recycling of materials are a requisite for the realization of resilient systems.
9. Taking the theme of cooperation forward, we recognise the value of capacity building through establishing direct links between relevant agencies, research centres and sharing best practices under the umbrella of the BRICS ERCP. This permits smoother data exchanges, and analysis of the trends and challenges in the energy sector in the BRICS nations and their prominent role in the global energy landscape. In this respect, we endorse the "BRICS Energy Report - 2021” jointly prepared by the BRICS ERCP experts and invite the members of the BRICS ERCP to continue its research.
10. We attach great importance to cooperation in R&D and deployment of clean technologies aimed at increasing efficiency of the energy sector, diminishing its environmental impact, including lowering GHG emissions, and developing new energy sources and carriers. We reiterate our plans to promote such cooperation in different areas including more efficient use of fossil fuels, advancing low or zero emission energy solutions such as renewables, nuclear, hydrogen, advanced bioenergy and others. We will also engage in applying the Circular Carbon Economy (CCE) approach and developing Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage(CCUS) capacities.
11.In continuation of our previous efforts to identify BRICS relevant technologies and build a comprehensive overview of technologies that cater to both the energy demand and the supply side, the “BRICS Energy Technology Report 2021” was prepared under the aegis of BRICS ERCP. We welcome this effort and express hope that the future iterations of the report would highlight the prospects of collaboration in the area of modern energy technologies further.
BRICS Cooperation in Energy Efficiency
12. Energy efficiency has a huge potential for stimulating sustainable economic growth and lowering negative anthropogenic influences on the environment. We express satisfaction with the efforts of the BRICS Energy Efficiency Working Group. We will enhance synergies in BRICS collaborative action in this important cross-cutting dimension, through improved coordination between existing mechanisms across various sectors.
13. We reaffirm our commitment to cooperate in the development and use of energy efficient technologies in production, transportation, storage, distribution and consumption of energy, including digital modelling, system integration, smart grids, industry decarbonisation and energy efficient buildings.
BRICS Cooperation for Energy Transitions
14. We recognize the importance of the efficient use of all energy sources, including fossil fuels, hydrogen, nuclear, renewable energy, and energy storage for transitions to more flexible and sustainable energy systems of the future. A number of challenges to the traditional mode of energy production and use must be overcome to ensure successful energy transitions. In this regard, we reiterate that cleaner energy systems will be achieved through the adoption of various advanced, flexible, cost competitive and low emissions technologies.
15. We wish to re-emphasise the view that national governments of all countries have a sovereign right to determine the pace and pathways of energy transitions depending on national conditions and priorities. The various options of this energy transition plan may be diverse and could include renewable energy, energy efficiency, nuclear power, hydrogen, bioenergy, and other new forms of energy in accordance with the developmental objectives.
16. For conventional fuel industries, there is a need for them to develop in environment friendly way through adequate investment and innovations in cleaner technologies in order to satisfy the demand for reliable and affordable base load generation and avoid disruptions in energy supply. In this regard, we note the role of natural gas, including LNG, in energy transitions and will explore ways to enhance cooperation in the gas sector, including relevant infrastructure.
17. We envisage a key role for industry deep decarbonisation to achieve the ambitious target of low emissions pathway. We will work closely on decarbonisation technologies like CCUS, use of biomass as an energy source, and CCE.
18. We consider nuclear energy as an important contributor to cleaner energy systems as it produces almost no polluting substances and GHG emissions. Nuclear energy can also be effectively utilized for production of new energy carriers such as hydrogen, as well as for reliable supply of energy to remote areas through deployment of small modular reactors. We will encourage cooperation in the field of nuclear energy, as appropriate, bearing in mind the highest standards of nuclear safety, security and non-proliferation.
19. Hydrogen can play a vital role in decarbonizing different sectors of the economy including industries, transportation in addition to its usage as raw material and as an energy carrier. We agree to share the expertise in this area which could result in tangible outcomes for the BRICS nations.
BRICS Cooperation in Renewable Energy
20. We welcome the impressive progress achieved in the development and use of renewable energy, benefiting from innovation leading to significant cost reductions. To continue the pace of development of new and renewable energy technologies, the BRICS nations will cooperate in research, development and use of renewable energy such as wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and bio energy and expansion of its use in other sectors.
21. We acknowledge the importance of new and renewable energy sources in residential and commercial building sectors and welcome the initiative of the Indian presidency to bring this important topic within the remit of the ERCP. We note the sharing of best practises and expertise in emerging areas of Net-Zero Buildings.
22. We also acknowledge the key role of bioenergy in fostering energy transitions, including in decarbonizing hard to abate sectors in transport, industry and heating. We recognize current cooperation among BRICS countries in accelerating sustainable bioenergy and encourage further cooperation. We note that the Bio-future Platform has been established during the 22nd session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP-22) and recognize its role in promoting sustainable use of bioenergy.
23. We note that the International Solar Alliance (ISA) has been established during the 21st session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP-21).We recognize the role of ISA in promoting clean energy through decentralized and off-grid solar power.
24. The unique expertise of BRICS nations provides ample opportunities for strategic cooperation on energy storage technologies which could help accelerate the transition to climate-friendly clean energy. We agreed upon exploring opportunities for collaborative approach on technology, manufacturing, business prospects and encourage future partnerships in this area.
25. We acknowledge greater research cooperation among the BRICS countries in the Transport sector. We note the rapid transformations the Transport sector is undergoing, which include the growing use of biofuels, natural gas as motor fuel and electric solutions, and welcome the possibility of promoting research in these technologies under the ERCP.
BRICS Energy Cooperation Framework
26. We appreciate progress in the development of BRICS ERCP including new reports, efforts towards establishing a network of national secretariats and focal points, determination of leading countries for ERCP priority areas and preparation of Energy Research Directory. We welcome the initiatives, including those of the Indian presidency, to expand the scope of priority areas by including such areas as hydrogen and financing and commit to continue efforts to further strengthen the ERCP organisationally and substantially through i.e., enhancing synergies with other BRICS mechanisms and institutions.
27. We note with satisfaction, progress in the implementation of the Road Map for BRICS Energy Cooperation up to 2025 and instruct the Committee of Senior Energy Officials to continue to monitor and promote its implementation.
28. Finance is a key factor for sustainable energy supply and technological progress. In this regard we encourage consultations with the New Development Bank (NDB) and other financial institutions in BRICS countries to secure necessary support for new energy projects.
29. We will encourage enhancing further cooperation on standards and regulations related to energy transitions within the ERCP framework. We will share best practices in introducing economic incentives for clean energy projects and will take steps to enhance intra-BRICS cooperation in these areas.
30. We recognize the role of BRICS countries in the global energy agenda in line with their share in the world energy production and consumption. We welcome the informal consultations among BRICS states on topical energy issues and discussions in international organizations and fora and will enhance this dialogue in order to promote BRICS countries’ interests on the global scale. We note a proposal from Russia to highlight the BRICS energy cooperation at the 25th World Energy Congress to be held in Saint-Petersburg in October 2022.
31. We support the development of youth energy cooperation especially under the auspices of the BRICS Youth Energy Agency and encourage establishing mechanisms to expand educational exchanges and students’ networks.
32. We express our appreciation for the Republic of India for organizing the Sixth BRICS Meeting of Energy Ministers. We look forward to further strengthening our energy cooperation under the Presidency of the People’s Republic of China in 2022.