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Tristram Sainsbury , Hannah Wurf

The G20 and the Future of Energy Governance

2016. Vol. 11. No. 1. P. 7–27 [issue contents]

The fraught history of energy governance means that despite the oil shocks of the 1970s and ongoing resource price volatility, today there are no effective global mechanisms for cooperation between energy -producing and energy-consuming countries. Furthermore, there are two conflicting challenges at the heart of energy governance — ensuring energy access for all and transitioning to a low-carbon future.

This article argues that the current global energy institutions are illequipped to provide the impetus for energy governance cooperation, and the solution will have to come from collective political will at the leader level. The Group of 20 (G20) could be part of the solution as the economic forum for the world’s largest advanced and emerging economies, including both energy producers and consumers.

The article gives a brief history of energy governance and the institutions that emerged in the second half of the 20th century. It explores the strengths and weaknesses of each institution, including the well-established International Energy Agency (IEA) and Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, as well as more recent players such as the International Energy Forum and the International Renewable Energy Agency. It goes on to explain how the lack of progress in reaching global solutions led to G20 interest in energy governance, and what that forum has achieved on energy cooperation so far, notably the G20 Principles on Energy Collaboration in 2014 and the meeting of G20 energy ministers in 2015.

The article focuses mainly on how the G20 can progress the energy governance agenda, and what pragmatic options are available for the forum. In particular, it discusses how the G20 might spearhead reform of the IEA, support new initiatives and pursue a new platform for discussion within the G20.

Sainsbury T., Wurf H. (2016) The G20 and the Future of Energy Governance. International Organisations Research Journal, vol. 11, no 1, pp. 7-27 (in Russian and English). DOI: 10.17323/1996-7845/2016-01-7.

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