G20: Time to boost energy efficiency and decarbonisation

(EurActiv, 15 Sep 2023) The expansion of Russian oil and gas, especially in Asian markets, has helped Russia keep its political standing on the global stage – but G20 countries have the antidote by centring on energy efficiency, writes Oleksandr Butenko.

Oleksandr Butenko is the Deputy Minister for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine.

The EU and other world’s leading economies need to turn commitments for peace and climate action into real economic policies centring around energy efficiency – those that can reduce demand for oil and gas and provide adequate responses both to the war of aggression and the climate emergency. 

At the G20 Summit in India, the US and EU found common ground with the host country and other participants to secure a diplomatic victory over Russia by finalising a joint declaration that features support for Ukraine’s defence and territorial integrity, yet in general and subtle terms. 

The Summit’s declaration refers to the UN charter and provides that “all states must refrain from the threat or use of force to seek territorial acquisition against the territorial integrity and sovereignty or political independence of any state.” The joint declaration also reiterates the commitment of the world’s largest economies to Paris Agreement goals and climate action, but misses the critical link between these two issues – both the war in Ukraine and the climate crisis are driven by the demand for oil and gas, supplies of which Russia has weaponised.

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EurActiv, 15 Sep 2023: G20: Time to boost energy efficiency and decarbonisation