DUBAI: Energy ministers from the G20 countries under the presidency of Saudi Arabia will meet virtually on Sunday to discuss volatile oil markets and plans for a “green” recovery from the economic shock of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Kingdom is strongly backing a “circular carbon economy” strategy to remove harmful greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere.
The two-day event is the second time this year that energy policymakers have come together, following the historic meeting last April that helped stabilize crude markets in meltdown.
Markets have since recovered and the price of benchmark Brent crude has more than doubled, but doubts about their resilience have resurfaced amid fears of a “second wave” of economic lockdowns.
Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, the Saudi energy minister and chairman of the G20 event, has highlighted the need for tight discipline by members of the OPEC+ oil producers’ alliance to combat market “uncertainty.”
“If we are serious about mitigating the impact of the shock and navigating through these extraordinary times, this is our only path,” he said.
The G20 said ministers would discuss ways to “strengthen collaboration toward market stability and security and discuss promoting and advancing sustainable energy systems through the Circular Carbon Economy platform,” and address “advancing universal access to energy and clean cooking for all.”
There is consensus on the need to mitigate harmful emissions, but some European countries and nongovernmental organizations are believed to be pressing for a stronger stance on fossil fuels.
The Saudi strategy, supported by the US and Russia, is for a more inclusive stance on hydrocarbon resources, while simultaneously promoting renewable sources such as solar and wind.