Corporate social responsibility

Eamon Ryan to travel to Paris to co-chair International Energy Agency meeting

Conference will focus on the commitment to transition away from fossil fuels, as agreed at COP28.

Eamon Ryan, the minister with responsibility for climate and energy, will travel to Paris to co-chair the 2024 International Energy Agency (IEA) ministerial this week.

The conference, which will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, will see climate ministers from all over the world gather to discuss a host of environmental issues - most notably the global “transition away” from fossil fuels, as agreed at COP28.

Ryan was elected co-chair of the event in March of last year and will lead the talks alongside the French minister for energy, Agnès Pannier-Runacher.

This year’s conference will mark the 50th anniversary of the agency, as well as the first time an Irish delegate has been invited to co-chair discussions. Among the attendees this week will include Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the EU Commission and Mary Robinson, the former Irish president.

Established during the energy crisis of the 1970s, the IEA is a leading inter-governmental organisation. The body provides policy recommendations, analysis and data on the global energy sector to its more than 40 member and association countries, including the USA, China and most EU countries.

The upcoming ministerial will focus on the need to transition away from fossil fuels and ramp up financing of clean energy, especially in the developing world. It will also mark the conclusion of the first ‘Global Stocktake’ of the world’s collective progress against its climate goals since the Paris Agreement.

According to a statement from the Department of the Environment, ministers are expected to agree that developing new long-term oil and gas supplies is incompatible with keeping global warming below 1.5C, and that global investment in climate financing must reach $4.5 trillion by 2030.

The conference follows a contentious COP28 summit last year, in which world leaders clashed over the inclusion of a commitment to phase out fossil fuels. It also comes at a “crucial time for energy markets and clean energy transitions globally”, the IEA said in a statement.

“Major issues include the risks to energy security linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and beyond – and international efforts to deliver on the outcomes of the COP28 climate change conference.

“Fifty years on from the founding of the IEA amid the 1970s oil shock, this milestone event offers the opportunity to reflect on how the global energy system has changed and how to tackle the energy and climate challenges the world faces today and in the coming decades,” the agency said.

The Paris meeting will conclude with the publication of an agreed ’communique’, which is the cornerstone document of the IEA ministerial. It will outline new mandates for the IEA up to 2026 and include the measures adopted by the agency to shape their renewables-focused work over the next two years.

Speaking ahead of the event, Ryan said that the 2024 IEA ministerial is a “critical stepping stone” in determining how the world can set higher climate ambitions and fund the transition to a more sustainable energy source.

“This is the peace project of our time and we have to make sure every part of the globe is supported, not just the wealthy. By doing this, we can help alleviate poverty, we can reduce conflict and help manage forced migration, as well as addressing the climate crisis,” the minister said.



Share this page Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Linkedin