Experts from all across the G20 member-countries, as well as representatives of a number of international organizations traditionally involved in the G20 work on energy issues, took part in the Energy Sustainability Working Group Meeting (ESWG). The meeting was co-chaired by Russia and the United Kingdom. Discussion on particular issues of the agenda was carried out with active assistance of volunteered co-facilitators from a number of the G20 countries.
In the course of the discussion delegates shared their opinions on the major issues of the energy agenda: transparency and predictability of energy and commodity markets, energy efficiency and green growth, as well as regulation for energy infrastructure. The main objective of the first ESWG meeting was to find an appropriate way of interaction between countries and organizations that participate in the work of the group within the year of the Russian Presidency, and coordinating their joint efforts.
Summing up the outcomes of the meeting, co-chair of the ESWG, chief of the "Energy and Climate" Division of the Russian G20 Expert Council Igor Leshukov admitted that this year for the first time the group gathered in this new format, basing on previous experience of both the Financial and Sherpas' tracks. The delegates have specified priority tasks to be fulfilled during the preparatory process for the St.Petersburg Summit. "A good start has been given, we are certain that all the commitments given by Russia's Presidency and particular instructions, which Leaders have given at previous Summits in Pittsburg, Seoul, Cannes and Los Cabos, will be fulfilled substantially and in time," - Igor Leshukov remarked.
Touching upon the discussion of the Russian initiatives, Igor Leshukov claimed that the idea of systematizing the process of enhancing market transparency received full support. It is finalized that the process of energy data accumulation should be oriented at particular result, which is to be discussed with all the stakeholders, who are the final users of such information. This is the first experience of this kind in the G20 practice.
Likewise, the group is aiming to discuss not only the issues and tasks of the past, but pass on to the future challenges. "Here we have also received support of the group with a quite natural reservation, that any ambition to forecast development of the situation on market should correspond actual ability of making such estimation," - Igor Leshukov told.
The ESWG also managed to hold thoughtful consultations on the role of effective regulation as a tool for attracting investments, including in the energy sector. This is another innovation, introduced by Russia to the G20 agenda, the final purpose of which is new jobs creation through attracting investment. "According to experts' appraisals, huge amount of investment are required for the needs of the energy sector - trillions of USD, and without appropriate investment support and stimulation measures this will not be reached," - Leshukov stressed. - "The G20 countries accounting for 90% of world GDP and 80% of world trade are the very platform, within the framework of which corresponding measures can be developed, discussed, accepted and implemented."
Finally, the group has discussed practical tasks on implementation of the initiative on global marine environment protection. "We have good chances during the year of the Russian Presidency to launch the mechanism of best practices sharing in this sphere," - the ESWG co-chair concluded.