The B20 Energy, Climate & Resource Efficiency (ECRE) Taskforce published its final policy paper. The paper is the outcome of five months of intense discussions and hard work among almost 100 taskforce members from 23 countries and diverse economic sectors. In five teleconferences and physical meetings in Berlin and Paris the ECRE taskforce under the leadership of ECRE Chair Kurt Bock, CEO of BASF, developed three highly relevant recommendations to the G20:
First, the G20 should curtail climate change by implementing the Paris Agreement and developing consistent and robust carbon pricing. The G20 governments should continue their commitment to the Paris Agreement in order to retain business confidence in the set direction. As many investments in sustainable technologies can have economic life times of several decades, businesses need unambiguous, consistent, and predictable policies. An effective Paris rulebook, carbon pricing and the phase-out of inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies represent key opportunities for the G20 governments to demonstrate their willingness to curtail climate change.
Second, the G20 should accelerate the market readiness and deployment of low-carbon technologies through effective and predictable energy policies, a joint innovation agenda, and strengthened Energy Access Action Plans. International cooperation will help managing better long-term, higher-risk R&D and innovation activities. Digital technologies and solutions will play a key enabling role in an increasingly complex and decentralized energy landscape. Ensuring universal access to clean, affordable, and secure energy to a growing world population is a continued priority.
Third, the G20 should advance resource and energy efficiency by establishing a Resource Efficiency Platform and translating the Voluntary Energy Efficiency Investment Principles into a policy toolkit. Natural resources are key production factors. But in the last 20 years the exploitation of primary materials and the generation of emissions and waste are increasing faster than the economic benefits gained. The world economy needs to move away from the current "extract, make, use, and dispose" model. Rather, they need to embrace "recover and regenerate" economic life cycles that keep resources and materials in use for as long as possible. It is a good time for the G20 to put resource efficiency and circular economy thinking on its agenda, discuss its potential and initiate formats of best practice exchanges.