Global leaders from across the spheres of energy, foreign policy, trade, development and business have been announced as members of the newly formed Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation.
The Commission was launched in January during the Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and its work is supported by the governments of Germany, Norway and the United Arab Emirates.
Leading the Commission as Chair is the former President of Iceland, Olafur Grimsson. Members of the Commission include prominent government and business leaders from the United States, Saudi Arabia, China, Germany, Brazil and Russia and other countries.
The line-up was announced on the second day of the annual Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue (BETD), hosted by the German Federal Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Economy and Energy.
The Commission will meet for the first time during the BETD to establish a roadmap towards the development of an authoritative report to be released during IRENA’s next Assembly taking place in Abu Dhabi, in January.
“This Commission represents a truly formidable body of global leaders who will bring rigour, critical thinking, and a broad range of perspectives to the table as we analyse the potential effects of a renewables-based energy system on national and global politics,” said Commission Chair Olafur Grimsson.
“As a result, this Commission’s work will be a robust assessment of the evolving geopolitics of energy as we move towards the post-carbon era.”
The Commissioners will bring professional perspectives from nations across the world and will reflect insights from traditional energy exporters, and net energy importers alike.
Countries at various stages of renewable energy exploration and development are also represented in the Commission’s membership. The Commission will be supported by an expert panel of renowned academics.
“The shift to renewable energy is proving to be one of the most positively transformational trends of our age. Renewables offer a cost-effective pathway to poverty reduction, increased energy access and economic growth whilst reducing energy-related emissions,” said Adnan Z. Amin.
“As we move towards a more decarbonised, decentralised and digitalised energy system, and scale-up renewables in line with the Paris Climate Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals, countries will need to better understand the nature of the evolving geopolitical landscape, so as to ensure prosperity and peace,” he added.
Deputy Director-General for Energy and Climate Policy and Export Control at the German Federal Foreign office, Peter Fischer described the commission as a development capable of accelerating the global energy transition.
Energiewende (Energy transition), according to Fischer, “will affect global politics as energy can be used as a means of power and coercion in international relations. This reinforces the need to build capacity and strengthen global systems through a framework such as this commission,” says Fischer.
Some of the members of the commission include Khalid M. Al-Sulaiman, former Vice President for Renewable Energy at King Abdullah City for Atomic & Renewable Energy, Saudi Arabia, Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of IRENA, Anatoly Chubais, former Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, and Christiana Figueres, Former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Others include Joschka Fischer, former Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister of Germany, Pascal Lamy, former Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Carlos Lopes, former Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Bill Richardson, Former US Secretary of Energy, Maria van der Hoeven, former Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, and Peter Fsicher, the Deputy Director-General for Energy and Climate Policy and Export Control at the German Federal Foreign office.