By Edith Ike-Eboh
The G20 Energy Ministers have agreed to support the decision of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countires (OPEC) and its non OPEC allies to ensure global oil market stability.
The G20 ministers gave the assurance in a statement released after its Extraordinary Energy Ministers Meeting held via teleconference.
“We, the G20 Energy Ministers are profoundly saddened by the human tragedy caused by the COVID-l9 pandemic.
“We convene today against this backdrop of a crisis that, in addition to its direct health and economic and social impacts, has also contributed to the destabilization of global oil and gas markets and compromises energy security for many nations.
“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,’’ it said .
The group, however, assured that it would build on its Leaders’ commitment at their Summit on March 26, “to use all available policy tools to maintain market stability.”
The Energy Ministers noted that they would commit to ensuring that the energy sector continued to make a full, effective contribution to overcoming COVID-19 and powering the subsequent global recovery.
“We commit to work together in the spirit of solidarity on immediate, concrete actions to address these issues in a time of unprecedented international emergency.
“We recognize the vital role that well-functioning, stable, open, transparent and competitive energy markets play in bolstering economic activity and growth,’’ they stated.
The Ministers noted that the significant economic contraction and uncertain outlook due to the pandemic had exacerbated energy supply and demand imbalances.
According to them, it has also increased energy market instability, directly impacting the oil and gas sector and spilling over into other industries, thereby hampering the global economic recovery.
“The ministets said this market instability, adds to the heavy toll on jobs, businesses, and people.
“To underpin global economic recovery and to safeguard our energy markets, we commit to work 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, we commit to take all the necessary and immediate measures to ensure energy market stability.
“We recognise the commitment of some producers to stabilise energy markets. We acknowledge the importance of international cooperation in ensuring the resilience of energy systems,’’ the group said.
On Energy security, the G20 recogised that it was a key enabler for economic activity and an essential element of energy access, as well as cornerstone of energy market stability.
They noted that the pandemic had introduced unprecedented challenges and reminded all, of the importance of a stable, affordable, sustainable, and uninterrupted supply of energy to meet demand, especially for essential services.
They said services such as healthcare was crucial to ensuring that the global community overcome this crisis, especially in developing and least developed countries.
“We commit to take all the necessary measures to ensure the balance of interests between producers and consumers, the security of our energy systems and the uninterrupted flow of energy.
“In doing so, we are particularly aware of the need to ensure that health and other sectors that are leading the fight against COVID-19 have the energy supplies that they need,” the group said.(NAN)