IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol urged investment in high-quality and innovative energy infrastructure when he delivered a keynote address on the first day of the G7 Energy Ministerial 2016 meeting in Kitakyushu, Japan. In his remarks on 1 May, Dr. Birol focused on the importance of energy investment for global growth and to meet climate objectives while ensuring secure and affordable energy supply. “Energy choices made today will have profound implications for many years to come,” he said. “We cannot afford to look only one or two years down the road. Your policy decisions will impact long-term economic performance, energy security and of course, our chances of successfully tackling climate change.”
The Ministerial meeting brings together energy ministers and high-ranking officials from the G7 nations – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States – plus the European Union, for two days of discussions centered around the theme of “Global Energy Security for Growth”. At the close of the meeting, the G7 and EU Energy Ministers released a Joint Statement, the “Kitakyushu Initiative on Energy Security for Global Growth”. This Joint Statement supports the IEA’s enhanced engagement with emerging economies. It also expresses appreciation for IEA efforts to enhance energy security, including the broadening of the Agency’s oil security system through further engagement with non-member countries. In welcoming IEA work on gas security, low-carbon technology roadmaps, energy efficiency (with the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation, or IPEEC) and electricity security including (with the International Renewable Energy Agency, or IRENA) grid integration of renewable energy, the ministers asked the Agency to provide further analysis to the G7 and report back.