G20 Ministers Convene For Emergency COVID-19 Virtual Summit. Canada Is The Fourth Oil Largest Producer In The World.
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Seamus O’Regan participated in a videoconference meeting of G20 Energy Ministers. The discussion comes at a critical time, as Canada and governments the world over work to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, keep people safe, and limit economic impacts.
Canada is the fourth-largest oil producer in the world. This sector of the economy powers more than 1,000 companies, which support over 3,500 businesses in the services sector and the jobs of more than 576,000 people, including 11,000 Indigenous people, in every part of Canada. The energy sector is also a critical component of Canada’s plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
The impacts on the energy markets, in turn, further deepen the global economic crisis and hinder sustainable development. “We agree that ensuring energy market stability and ensuring affordable and secure energy are key in addressing the health, well-being and resilience of all countries throughout the crisis response and recovery phases.” Said O’Regan
Building on the Leaders’ commitment at their March 26, summit to use all available policy tools to…maintain market stability. The Leaders have committed to ensuring that the energy sector continues to make a full, effective contribution to overcoming COVID-19 and powering the subsequent global recovery.
Energy Market Stability
The significant economic contraction and uncertain outlook due to the pandemic have exacerbated energy supply and demand imbalances, increasing energy market instability, directly impacting the oil and gas sector and spilling over into other industries, further hampering the global economic recovery. This market instability, adds to the heavy toll on jobs, businesses, and people.
To underpin global economic recovery and to safeguard energy markets, the ministers commit to working together to develop collaborative policy responses, that will ensure market stability across all energy sources taking into account each country’s circumstances.
To address these challenges, they also commit to taking all the necessary and immediate measures to ensure energy market stability.
The pandemic has introduced unprecedented challenges and reminds us of the importance of a stable, affordable, sustainable, and uninterrupted supply of energy to meet demand, especially for essential services, such as healthcare, which is crucial to ensure that the global community can overcome this crisis, especially in developing and least-developed countries.
The Ministers have established a short-term Focus Group, with the task of developing the coordinated response measures and corrective actions, and making policy recommendations as needed. The Focus Group is open for all G20 parties, on a voluntary basis and will regularly report its assessment during the Saudi G20 presidency, in collaboration with relevant international organizations, to G20 Energy Ministers.
The Ministers are scheduled to meet again in September while standing ready to reconvene sooner if necessary. Ongoing cooperation and response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the broader G20 energy agenda–a transition towards a cleaner and sustainable energy system.