In their ministerial meeting on 27-28 September 2020, the G20 Energy Ministers have agreed on a communiqué where they endorsed the Circular Carbon Economy Platform as a tool to manage emissions and foster access to energy. G20 Energy Ministers have acknowledged the Circular Carbon Economy (CCE) approach as a holistic, integrated, inclusive, and pragmatic approach to managing emissions that aims to provide new pathways towards economic growth.
Ministers stated that, “We acknowledge that the CCE approach is a holistic, integrated, inclusive, and pragmatic approach to managing emissions that can be applied reflecting country’s priorities and circumstances. By encompassing the broad range of pathways and options available it takes into account different national circumstances, while striving to meet our shared global aspirations…taking into account national and regional contexts, we will endeavor to explore various opportunities, including, the CCE Platform and existing G20 programs and initiatives, to advance transitions towards affordable and reliable energy for all.”
“Building upon previous comments made by the G20 Energy Ministers in past Presidencies, we endorse the Circular Carbon Economy (CCE) Platform and its ‘4Rs’ framework (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Remove) while acknowledging and recognizing the key importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” declared the G20 Energy Ministers after their second meeting this year. Their first meeting was held exceptionally on 10 April 2020 as a response to the pandemic impact on the energy sector.
The CCE approach is built on the ‘4Rs’: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Remove to advance stable and secure energy markets and energy access for all while holistically managing emissions and advance cleaner and more sustainable future. Moreover, reduction can be achieved by encouraging technological innovations like renewables, efficiency and nuclear. “Reuse” refers to converting emissions into value added materials to industries by utilizing and advancing Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU), and Emissions to Value (E2V). “Recycle” means relying natural processes and decomposition, including the use of energy carries like hydrogen, methanol and ammonia representing the natural cycle and recycling. Lastly, “Remove” revolves around implementing natural and geological Carbon Capture and Storage, Direct Air Capture, and natural based solutions to remove emissions from industries and the atmosphere.
The G20 presented the CCE Platform that includes the CCE Approach, Guide, and the Accelerator. The CCE Guide provides a toolkit of opportunities recommended options to be utilized by G20 members and beyond, each according to their different national circumstances, needs, and priorities. King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) has led the CCE Guide efforts to address these challenges. CCE adoption can also be found in the private sector. For example, Saudi Aramco, the world largest Energy company, states on their website: “We are adopting and implementing energy efficient technologies and practices… energy efficiency is a key component in our strategy to increase the sustainability of our operations. Championing and practicing energy efficiency help us reduce emissions, improve the operational performance of our plants and facilities, and promote environmentally responsible communities.”
The CCE approach can help address crucial issues facing the world in achieving universal access to energy. It is in this spirit that the G20 is working to ensure energy access to all, especially vulnerable groups. Also, the G20 continue to support institutions with frameworks to employ the private sector and enable affordable reliable energy access. G20 members are to apply these systems taking into account system efficiency and national circumstances, including its specific resources endowment and its political, economic, environmental, social, and risk-informed development contexts.
Further information about the G20, including the Presidency Agenda and full program of events, can be found at g20.org.