Delegates met for the fourth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM4) preparatory meeting in Seoul, Korea.
Although significant progress has been made to advance clean energy solutions, a staggering amount of work remains in order to achieve the goal of transforming to a global clean energy economy. Those were key messages coming out of the recent preparatory meeting for the fourth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM4) held in Seoul, Korea.
The meeting brought together Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) participant country delegations to prepare for the CEM4 meeting, to be held in Delhi in April. Attendees reviewed the progress of the 13 initiatives, finalized the CEM4 agenda, and identified effective, concrete actions that can be taken by ministers during the April meeting.
Dr. Chung Yang-Ho, Director General for Energy Policy in the Ministry of Knowledge Economy in Korea, kicked off the meeting, welcoming everyone to Seoul and laying out the challenges ahead. “We still face the same global challenge of achieving sustainable economic growth against three major problems: depletion of limited resources, soaring energy demand, and climate change,” Chung said. “Therefore, we should maintain our stance of addressing the issue by expanding clean energy supply and improving energy efficiency.”
The International Energy Agency (IEA) gave a preview of the Clean Energy Progress Report that it will deliver at CEM4. There was good news on the renewable energy front; there have been impressive cost reductions, and in many cases renewables are competing without government support. In other areas, the news is not quite so rosy. Research, development, and demonstration for energy is trending down, and in areas such as clean vehicles and carbon capture and storage, current actions are far from meeting stated goals. The final report delivered in April will highlight these successes and policy challenges, as well as include key recommendations for ministers.
Following the IEA presentation, the delegates received updates and discussed the progress of each of the 13 CEM initiatives. Jonathan Pershing, the new Deputy Assistant Secretary for Climate Policy and Technology for the U.S. Department of Energy, speaking for the CEM Secretariat, encouraged delegates to recognize the gap between current efforts and long-term goals and to identify opportunities for increased ambition in each initiative.
The agenda for CEM4 was also discussed and finalized during the prep meeting. A follow-up news article will preview the agenda and highlight some unique elements of the upcoming meeting.