In its 2016 Voluntary Action Plan on Renewable Energy, the G20 agreed in principle on the need to reduce their coal consumption. In spite of that, public export credit insurance is still strongly focussed on fossil-energy projects. The Japanese Bank for International Cooperation, for example, continues to be particularly active in the coal sector. It’s also problematic that investments in clean energy are almost exclusively targeted at traditional, grid-connected electricity generation. Despite their proven ability to provide rapid and affordable access to clean energy in many country contexts, off-grid technologies account for only 1.3 per cent of investments.
Germany’s bilateral energy partnerships with many different countries underline the importance of international cooperation. IASS researchers have gathered and evaluated data on the main purposes and objectives of these partnerships and how they go about realising them. The Discussion Paper Deutschlands Energiepartnerschaften in der internationalen Energiewendepolitik (Germany’s Energy Partnerships for the Global Energy Transition) is the first comprehensive analysis of this important policy instrument.
Building on the Discussion Paper’s findings, an IASS Policy Brief on Strengthening International Cooperation for a Global Energy Transition was published in April 2019. It makes the following three concrete recommendations to policymakers:
Recommendation 1: Promote investment in clean energy and end support for coal-based energy infrastructure.
To this end, donor countries from the OECD and G20 should lead the way by discontinuing all public investment support for new coal-based energy infrastructure and establish clear guidelines for support to other fossil-based investments.
Recommendation 2: Tackle the socio-economic dimension of the global energy transition.
In order to accelerate and expand the geographic scope of the global energy transition, international cooperation should play an active role in mobilising the socio-economic benefits of clean energy and address potential risks by supporting analysis and policy dialogue at both the country and global levels.
Recommendation 3: Provide early market support to promote challenge-based energy innovation.
SE4ALL or Mission Innovation should create multi-stakeholder, challenge-based initiatives to promote energy innovation in developing and emerging economies and foster early market demand for related products or services.