Ernst & Young comments on the Clean Energy Ministerial
James Close, Government Services Partner at Ernst & Young, comments on the Clean Energy Ministerial which is being held in London this week:
“This is an important meeting for the ministers attending. The choices governments make over the next five years in bi-lateral and multi-lateral forums such as the Clean Energy Ministerial will determine the shape of the energy landscape that we have to live to well beyond 2030.
“There are four common problems which need to be addressed:
- The size of the investment required to accelerate the transition to clean energy - estimated to be at $38 trillion globally and £200 billion in the UK;
- the incentives for investment to meet future demand;
- how to improve consumer engagement in energy efficiency and provide ways of financing it; and
- how to manage different policy solutions cross border.
“The fact that investment in low carbon energy today reduces exposure to rising fossil fuel prices tomorrow will strike a chord, not only in terms of affordability for consumers, but also in terms of economic return for businesses in the form of innovation, jobs and growth, as well as returns for investors.
“The importance of balancing low carbon aspirations with wider economic benefits cannot be understated. In the UK, this aspect of the energy story has not been explained well by either government or by the energy industry itself – yet its understanding is key to gaining and maintaining the trust and confidence of consumers. Public buy-in is more important than ever, yet energy sustainability is a complex message to communicate to an often indifferent audience. To convince the consumer that investing up front is good for them, and for the country, both governments and utility companies will have to practice what they preach and deliver the big investment needed to get the message across.
“How governments address these challenges and work together at a time of heightened concern about security, affordability and sustainability is critical and relies on a balanced and informed approach being taken.”