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Ministers from mostly oil importing countries meet to talk clean energy

Highlights

Energy ministers and senior energy officials from 24 countries, includingSaudi oil minister Ali Al-Naimi and US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, aremeeting in Seoul for two days to discuss how to reduce fossil oil consumptionand promote renewable resources.

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"The transition to a world powered by clean energy has the potential tonot only significantly reduce carbon pollution and reduce the risk of climatechange, but to also create entrepreneurial opportunities and jobs," YoonSang-Jick, South Korea's minister for trade, industry and energy, said Mondayin opening remarks of the annual Clean Energy Ministerial.

Other representatives came from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China andJapan.

CEM is a US-led voluntary global forum of energy ministers from 23governments 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 participateas 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 fordeclining global investment in clean energy and how to cope with it," KimJun-Dong, South Korea's deputy minister of energy and resources policy at theministry, 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 forclean energy sources, such as solar and wind, so as to create jobs," Kim said.

During Monday's session, South Korea called for lowering trade barrierson products and services related to renewable energy, a ministry officialsaid.

"Clean energy products must have easier access to the markets across theglobe," he said.

On the sidelines of the meeting, International Energy Agency ExecutiveDirector Maria van der Hoeven said that the "business-as-usual approach mustbe overhauled to cope with global shift to electricity that is rivaling oil asthe dominant energy carrier."

"Electricity is going to play a defining role in the first half of thiscentury as the energy carrier that increasingly power economic growth anddevelopment," van der Hoeven told reporters during a press conference. "Whilethis offers many opportunities, it does not solve all out problems; indeed, itcreates many new challenges."

--Charles Lee, newsdesk@platts.com

--Edited by Meghan Gordon, meghan.gordon@platts.com

Similar stories appear in Oilgram News See more information at http://www.platts.com/Products/oilgramnews