Saudi Arabia’s G20 presidency has championed an initiative known as the circular carbon economy (CCE), which has emerged as a practical solution to the sustainability riddle.
The CCE model is an integrated approach toward a more comprehensive, resilient and inclusive system. In a circular carbon economy model, all technologies, forms of energy and mitigation opportunities are welcomed as solutions to reduce carbon emissions while contributing to economic development. Carbon emissions can be managed in a closed-loop system.
Energy, a commodity we take for granted, in some parts of the world is barely available or is insufficient to meet community needs.
Access to energy is a key driver for economic development and social inclusion. However, there are currently 840 million people with no access to electricity and 2.9 billion without access to clean cooking facilities. This situation highlights the need to consider people living in dire poverty who are economically disabled due to a lack of modern, reliable and clean energy sources. For example, in some developing and less developed countries, communities rely on solid fuels such as wood or even animal dung for heating and cooking.
Endorsing Saudi Arabia’s G20 CCE platform is a start, and a call for greater international cooperation at a global level to agree on common rules, governance and investment frameworks for the circular carbon economy model.
Linking CCE with the delivery of UN sustainable development goals (SDG), particularly SDG No. 7 (energy access), is an opportunity to achieve a just energy transition that scales up technology and cleaner fuels for vulnerable communities and rural areas.
The CCE model can provide energy access solutions that help those who need it most. Ensuring a rapid global economic recovery means making worldwide energy access a top priority.
• Eaman Abdullah is a Saudi writer. Twitter: @aman_eamaniii