As a result of the global transformation of the energy sector, special attention must be paid to avoid disruptions in energy supply, an essential condition of which is close international cooperation, said András Aradszki, Minister of State of the Ministry of National Development, head of the Hungarian delegation, at the ministerial meeting of the Governing Council of the International Energy Agency (IEA) held in Paris on 7 and 8 November 2017.

raising the work of the Agency, the Minister of State for Energy said that the IEA’s industry analyses and forecasts may help countries prepare appropriately for regional and global market changes and sectoral challenges. In developing national strategies to promote economic competitiveness, environmental sustainability and consumer-friendly services, national and regional specificities need to be increasingly taken into account in the interests of the security of energy supply. Mr. Aradszki called intensive international cooperation a key importance to the implementation of the missing elements of energy networks and infrastructure development, guaranteeing resource diversification. Speaking about the joint work of the International Energy Agency and its associate countries, the head of delegation considered that its key element was the strengthening of collective energy security.

Mr. Aradszki recalled that Hungary’s National Energy Strategy considers the use of nuclear energy and renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and energy savings to be fundamental energy policy tools. Increasing the use of clean energy is not only a national goal, but also a Hungarian instrument for contributing to combating global climate protection. In the context of energy efficiency, the Minister of State pointed out that the low-emission cooling and heating sector accounts for half of the energy consumption in the European Union, while 75 percent of the fuel used in the subsector still comes from fossil fuels. He added that significant results could be achieved in this area through enhancing awareness of energy consumption, via the energy-related refurbishment and modernisation of buildings, and by increasing consumer preparedness and awareness. The Agency’s new Global Exchange Platform for Energy Efficiency, which provides an appropriate knowledge base for sharing best international practices, represents an excellent opportunity for progress.

Once every two years, the Governing Board of the International Energy Agency convenes a ministerial meeting at which it reviews the organisation’s priorities and future programmes. The event also strengthens the global dialogue between governments and the energy industry. Alongside the 29 member countries, Mexico, which will become the agency’s 30th member in the next year; Chile as an accession country; China, India, Indonesia, Morocco, Singapore, Thailand and Brazil as association countries; South Africa as a partner country; as well as the CEO’s of more than 30 major global energy companies were represented at the 2017 two-day meeting. During the first day, participants exchanged views on changes in the energy market, possible ways of stimulating energy projects, and the opportunities and challenges brought about by digitalisation and its impact on energy systems. At the next day’s session, discussions were held in plenary sessions on issues relating to energy security in the 21st century and the transition to clean energy.

(Ministry for National Development, Communication Division)