Decarbonization transition should leave no one behind, say experts at Rome meeting


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Decarbonization transition should leave no one behind, say experts at Rome meeting


Source:    Published: 2021-04-22

Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will provide a key chance to boost the transition towards decarbonization, which should be "just" and leave no one behind, experts at a roundtable linked to Italy's G20 presidency said here on Thursday.

Themed as "Sustainable Recovery for a Green Future," the event was organized by the Institute for International Political Studies -- Italy's national coordinator of the Think20, the G20 body bringing together major think tanks -- and the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China. A panel of experts addressed climate change, energy transition and sustainable growth.

"There is an opportunity (to boost decarbonization) associated with the recovery, because after any kind of crisis there is always a need for reallocation of capital and labor," said Luiz De Mello from the Economic Department of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

In a well-planned recovery, countries could "afford to shift economic and financial resources from polluting, low-productivity sectors towards greener and high-productivity ones," he said.

The technology factor would be crucial in finding a balance between the strong urge to relaunch economies and the zero-emission target, said Jun Arima, senior policy fellow with the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia.

"Technology progress is very important in this perspective, and advanced countries should collaborate for developing such technologies as soon as possible and try to disseminate them," Arima said.

"It is true that renewable energies are becoming cheaper, but the resource endowment is different from country to country," said Arima, noting that the European Union has a certain advantage thanks to its interconnected transmission lines.

"But in Asia, for example, the grid connections across countries are not so strong, and the endowment of renewable sources is lower," he said.

Asian Development Bank chief of Energy Sector Group Yongping Zhai said the development needs of each region in the world should be considered.

"We need to ensure that energy transition works for all, making sure no one is left behind," Zhai said in the opening session of the roundtable.

"We need to go for a 'no-regrets' policy, which is good for our generation as well as for the future ones," he said. Enditem

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