Energy ministers and senior energy officials from 24 countries, including
Saudi oil minister Ali Al-Naimi and US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, are
meeting in Seoul for two days to discuss how to reduce fossil oil consumption
and promote renewable resources.
"The transition to a world powered by clean energy has the potential to
not only significantly reduce carbon pollution and reduce the risk of climate
change, but to also create entrepreneurial opportunities and jobs," Yoon
Sang-Jick, South Korea's minister for trade, industry and energy, said Monday
in opening remarks of the annual Clean Energy Ministerial.
Other representatives came from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China and
CEM is a US-led voluntary global forum of energy ministers from 23
governments with the aim of accelerating the world's clean energy transition.
Members are mostly oil importers.
Saudi Arabia is not a member of the group, but Naimi asked to participate
as an observer for the first time this year, the South Korean ministry said.
The meeting has been held annually since 2010.
"Participants are focusing their discussions on examining reasons for
declining global investment in clean energy and how to cope with it," Kim
Jun-Dong, South Korea's deputy minister of energy and resources policy at the
ministry, told Platts.
Global investment in clean energy fell to $25.4 billion last year from
$28.6 billion in 2012 and $31.8 billion in 2011, he said.
"Another main agenda item for this meeting is how to foster markets for
clean energy sources, such as solar and wind, so as to create jobs," Kim said.
During Monday's session, South Korea called for lowering trade barriers
on products and services related to renewable energy, a ministry official
"Clean energy products must have easier access to the markets across the
globe," he said.
On the sidelines of the meeting, International Energy Agency Executive
Director Maria van der Hoeven said that the "business-as-usual approach must
be overhauled to cope with global shift to electricity that is rivaling oil as
the dominant energy carrier."
"Electricity is going to play a defining role in the first half of this
century as the energy carrier that increasingly power economic growth and
development," van der Hoeven told reporters during a press conference. "While
this offers many opportunities, it does not solve all out problems; indeed, it
creates many new challenges."
--Charles Lee, email@example.com
--Edited by Meghan Gordon, firstname.lastname@example.org
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