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Energy Ministers, UN Chief discuss post-COVID recovery, environment

PARIS, July 9 (KUNA) -- Around 40 Energy Ministers and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres held talks here on Thursday to discuss ways to spur a sustainable economic recovery after the COVID-19 crisis and also set a cap on global carbon emissions at the same time.
The meeting, held under the aegis of the International Energy Agency (IEA), brought together participant countries, who account for about 80 percent of the value of the global economy, in order to evaluate policies under the theme of the first "Clean Energy Transition Summit." Energy Ministers from the US, China, India, Japan, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Britain, Mexico, Indonesia, Italy and Spain were present alongside representatives of the European Union, according to the Agency.
The IEA said in a statement that the talks also included business leaders, energy service providers and NGOs, all eager to be part of a forward-moving process that will seek to provide economic growth and help the environment at the same time.
"Participants highlighted the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on their energy systems, underscoring the importance of finding ways to support clean energy transitions despite the current challenges," the IEA indicated.
It added that the key themes included "the need for greater innovation in areas such as hydrogen, the importance of inclusive and equitable recoveries, and how to make the electricity sector more resilient and sustainable." IEA Director General Fatih Birol commented that Thursday's gathering proved that there is great value in international dialogue and collaboration between countries.
While no concrete initiatives were announced after the discussions, Birol said that the parties would now get to work in ensuring that 2019 was a peak for CO2 emissions and they should start building resilient and sustainable energy systems for the coming years.
"What I see clearly is momentum - momentum behind sustainable recovery and momentum behind clean energy transitions," the IEA chief resumed after the meetings. (end) jk.hb