Category: New Energies

The Bridge Tank at BOAO Forum for Asia 2023: Advancing EU-China cooperation and energy transitions

From 28 to 31 March 2023, The Bridge Tank, represented by its president Joël Ruet, took part in the BOAO Forum for Asia 2023, in Boao, Hainan, China. The Bridge Tank has taken part in the annual meeting of the “Chinese Davos” as a partner of the event since 2018. This year’s BOAO Forum was placed under the theme “An Uncertain World: Solidarity and Cooperation for Development amid Challenges.”

The Forum saw Joël Ruet take part in two sessions dedicated to the China-EU dialogue, with a closed-door CEO roundtable, and a panel session on global energy supply shocks, both concretely addressing energy transitions. The forum’s plenary session provided contributions from Chinese Premier Li Qiang, former UN Secretary General and now chair of the forum Ban Ki Moon, as well as Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore, and Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister of Spain, addressing future relations between China and the EU and the potential for partnerships.

China-EU CEO closed-door Dialogue

The roundtable which Joël Ruet took part in addressed questions and opportunities of cooperation and competition in a context of systemic rivalry. The session allowed for interaction between industry captains from France, Italy, Finland, Hungary, & Germany and their Chinese counterparts. These notably included:

  • Justin Yifu Lin, Dean of Institute of New Structural Economics, Peking University & former Chief Economist and former Senior Vice President of the World Bank
  • Li Zixue, Chairman and Executive Director, ZTE Corp
  • Zhang Yue, Chairman, BROAD Group
  • Li Yong, Chairman, Chinayong Investment Group
  • Joël RUET, Chairman, The Bridge Tank & Associate Researcher, Tech for Change Chair Ecole Polytechnique
  • Jorge Toledo, Ambassador of the European Union to China
  • Denis Depoux, Global Managing Director, Roland Berger
  • Norbert Csizmadia, President, John von Neumann University Foundation
  • Gianni Di Giovanni, Chairman, ENI China B.V. & Executive Vice President, ENI
  • Fabrizio Ferri, Head of Asia Pacific Region, Fincantieri

Joël Ruet’s participation to this roundtable allowed him to convey the current situation and opportunities in matters of energy transitions, particularly around nuclear power and hydrogen. Reflecting on current trends, Mr Ruet noted that in 2022, the EU’s transition found a winning long term hedging strategy based on geographically hedged gas instead of oil, with a 2030 horizon hedging against all fossil fuels.

On matters of climate finance, Joël Ruet argued that financial mechanisms had to go beyond carbon pricing and beyond mitigation finance. Instead, adaptation must be financed through cobenefits on agriculture, agro-forestry, CO2 fixation in soils and water preservation. This requires a joint effort to build a finance and banking derisking industry both at the level of public and commercial banks. China and the EU have a common interest in not only sharing ideas and models but also in building joint programs with least developed countries, Mr Ruet argued.

In a subsequent interview for China Business News, Joël Ruet stressed the importance of these types of roundtables, as “business decisions are based on this kind of relationship and understanding between people.”

Global Energy Supply Shock Roundtable

On March 30th, Joël Ruet sat down with senior Chinese and international executives and experts for a roundtable discussion on the current energy supply and demand structure. The discussion touched on how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine reshaped Europe’s energy supply landscape and how the global energy structure has evolved since, taking into account sanctions imposed on Russia and production restriction policies adopted by oil producing countries in the Middle East. The session also tackled how to maintain the stability of the international energy market and what the implications of these changes are on energy transitions efforts around the world.

The session moderated by ZHONG Shi, CGTN Anchor, was joined by :

  • Denis DEPOUX, Global Managing Director, Roland Berger
  • Gianni Di GIOVANNI, Chairman, ENI China B.V. & Executive Vice President, ENI
  • MENG Zhenping, Chairman, China Southern Power Grid
  • Joël RUET, Chairman, The Bridge Tank & Associate Researcher, Tech for Change Chair Ecole Polytechnique
  • Ernie THRASHER, Director, Xcoal Energy & Resources
  • ZHONG Baoshen, Chairman, Longi

According to Joël Ruet, the energy crisis is an opportunity to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of current energy structures, what is resilient, and what is most affected by these shocks. “We should turn the crisis into an opportunity,” Mr Ruet stated, adding that “in the energy transition, we must be inclusive and united.” What is stirking in the EU’s response over the last year is that it was not just a short term shock answer but that it paves the way to structural acceleration in energy transition, notably on pure renewables or gas. The fact that various countries have various energy strategies on nuclear as renewable or hydrogen uses or mobility engines hasn’t prevented quantum jumps in taxonomy and serves a positive complement thus hedging in European energy transitions.

Takeaways from the plenary session

BOAO Forum’s plenary session saw leaders from all around the world taking the stage to discuss current affairs. After stressing that “Russian agression has undermined the world order,” Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong insisted that beyond building strong relations with China, Asian countries needed to mesh with one another, highlighting ASEAN’s centrality. Praising the RCEP and trans pacific dynamics, PM Lee called for Asia to always remain an open region building partnerships.

Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister of Spain, stated that in its upcoming capacity assuming the presidency of the EU, Spain wants to contribute to peace and trust rebuilding. The country wants to focus on having a renewed approach to globalization, one mindful of its environmental footprint and stability, moving beyond sole cost preoccupations. The EU is therefore building a new green and digital industry and will defend its values and interests. China and the EU, though competitors, can also remain partners as far as the sovereignty of countries is respected and a level playing field on competition is upheld. According to PM Sanchez, China and the EU must remain partners economically but also and most importantly work together on reaching the objectives set in the Paris agreement, the SDGs, and providing finance for development and debt risks for developing countries.

BOAO Chair Ban Ki Moon
Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong
Spain PM Pedro Sanchez
Chinese Premier Li Qiang

Joel Ruet also attended Chinese Premier Li Qiang’s address to BOAO forum delegates. In his speech, Premier Li stated that “without peace, Asia won’t have a bright future,” before adding that “the many issues facing humanity must be addressed through consensus.” To do so, Li Qiang emphasized the role of BRICS countries in enforcing a multilateral rule of law, qualifying as “more just and equitable” than the existing UN system.

Li Qiang stated that “in an uncertain world, China’s way to prosperity is an anchor of certainty,” stressing the importance of China’s growth for developing countries in general and for Asia and the global economy. China’s path forward will “continue the effort of deepening the demand while structuring the supply side in a way that is favourable to foreign investment.”

It is however to be recalled that investments reached a low in 2022 due to China’s zero covid policy, which will have an impact on economic results in the coming two years and weakened foreign confidence in the Chinese market. This short term cycle will have to be absorbed, with medium term prospect looking more encouraging and serving as a transition while the demographic window of opportunity is closing.

Watch Joel Ruet’s analysis of Chinese Premier Li Qiang’s speech for CGTN:

G20/Business 20: Second meeting of the B20 India Task Force on Energy, Climate Change & Resource Efficiency

The Bridge Tank’s presence in New Delhi, India, for the CII Partnership Summit 2023 from 13-15 March saw Joel Ruet, President, The Bridge Tank, take part in the second meeting of the B20 India Task Force Energy, Climate Change & Resource Efficiency. As a member of the task force, The Bridge Tank had participated in its first meeting during the Inception Meeting of the Business 20 (B20) Engagement Group of the G20, on January 24th, 2023, in Gandhinagar, India.

The task force’s second meeting, on March 15th, raised three central topics: (1) accelerating net zero transitions, (2) a greater overall contribution of green energy, including green hydrogen and ammonia, and (3) an improved access to finance for these transitions. In keeping with one of the objectives of India’s G20 presidency, the task force has stressed the importance of including developing countries in these developments.

Notably, the stress was put on the fact that, while global ESR and non-financial standards as well as technology push through state support is needed, there is a capital cost advanatge for some countries which others do not have. Therefore, even more than human resources support or technology transfer assistance, to include developing countries, there is rather a need for a financial level-playing field, some argued, among which The Bridge Tank. While recommandations that Multilateral Developement Banks and private funds address this seriously were made, part of the debate revolved around the idea of focusing public money onto de-risking, and, The Bridge Tank argues, at involving local, national, and regional financial ecosystems into then de-risked project pipelines.

Besides, if one ventures out of the solutions only fitted for G20 countries – as India’s G20 presidency wishes to have G20 adhere to Africa’s issues for instance – then there is an debate opening up on the unequal data capacity across the world, which may add-up to capital cost inequality. This is a line of contribution we will keep feeding into the task force until its third meeting in April and final meeting in June.

Discussions and feedback between the task force’s first and second meeting raised numerous additional issues; these include establishing global standards for hydrogen, assessing the life cycle and scope for recyclables, setting provisions for domestic and international transactions on carbon and facilitating access to finance and technology. Furthermore, it is crucial to include and recognize the role mico, small, and medium entreprises have to play. As noted by some members of the task force, clear results and actions are required, as the cost of inaction on adaption to climate change would be dire, notably for coastal regions.

The meeting was convened by some of India’s leading industry captains:

  • Mr Sajjan Jindal, Chairman & Managing Director, JSW Group, chair of the task force
  • Mr Vineet Mittal, Chairman, Avaada Group, vice chair of the task force
  • Mr T V Narendran, Managing Director, Tata Steel, vice chair of the task force
  • Mr Chrstian Cahn von Seelen, Executive Committe memebrr Volskwagen, vice chair of the task force
  • Mr Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, Chairman of the Board, ENGIE, vice chair of the task force (represented by his head of staff)

G20-Business20-CII Partnership Summit 2023: The Bridge Tank discusses resilient green supply chains

On the last day of this year’s CII Partnership Summit 2023 in New Delhi, India, Joel Ruet, President, The Bridge Tank, took part in a session on ‘Building Resource Efficient & Resilient Green Supply Chains.’

The 28th edition of the summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) from 13-15 March 2023 dedicated to questions of global trade, economy, competitiveness, sustainability and technology was convened with the theme “Partnerships for Responsible, Accelerated, Innovative, Sustainable, and Equitable Businesses.” This comes as the CII is serving as secretariat of the B20 (Business 20) during India’s 2023 G20 presidency. The Bridge Tank, represented by its president Joel Ruet, was invited by the CII to join in the high level discussions in New Delhi.

On March 15th, Joel Ruet sat down with Dr Martin Keller, Lab Director & Alliance President, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Mr Ashwani Kumar, CEO, Suzlon Group, in a panel discussion moderated by Mr Christian Cahn von Seelen, Member of the Board and Executive Director, Volkswagen Group Sales India on ‘Building Resource Efficient & Resilient Green Supply Chains.’

Dr Martin Keller
Christian Cahn von Seelen & Joel Ruet
Ashwani Kumar

During the discussions, Dr Joel Ruet noted that supply chains in a “stabilized world” needed optimization. However, in current times of uncertainty and instability, there is a real need to diversify supply chains and bring in options across countries, industries, and technologies.

This idea was echoed by Dr Martin Keller, who emphasized the need for global synergies on diversifying supply chains with regard to raw material availability, manufacturing capabilities, adoption of clean energy, circular economy & green skilling.

Mr Cahn von Seelen and Mr Kumar highlighted the role of green energy in these resilient supply chains. Mr Cahn von Seelen stressed how important it now was for the world to focus on sustainable energy supply chains to replace petrol. The example Europe has set by entirely changing its energy mix in the span of one year, following Russia’s attack on Ukraine, has shown that drastic changes are possible.

Mr Kumar went a step further, adding that we needed to look not only at how much of our energy consumption was green but how green the generated kilowatt-hour actually was. Such a process must start at R&D stage, enabling greater efficiency and providing a key contribution to green supply chains.

G20/Business 20 : The Bridge Tank takes part in the B20 India Inception Meeting

After Indonesia’s tenure in 2022, the turn of the year saw India assume the presidency of the G20 for 2023.

From 22 to 24 January 2023, the city of Gandhinagar in Gujarat, India, hosted the Inception Meeting of the Business 20 (B20) Engagement Group of the G20 to discuss the global economy and some of the most pressing issues facing our world with the business community. The meeting gathered Indian Ministers and delegates, as well as influential international business leaders and policy makers.

As a member to the B20, The Bridge Tank attended the summit in Gandhinagar, represented by its chairman Joel Ruet. Besides the public sessions at the Mahatma Mandir, the Inception Meeting notably marked the launch of the B20 Task Forces and Action Groups, to which The Bridge Tank will be an active contributor in the year to come.

Focussing its participation on three great themes: sustainability, research & innovation, and bridging the gap between Africa and the G20, at the invitation of the Indian Presidency of the G20, The Bridge Tank is now member to both the B20 India Taskforce on Energy, Climate Change and Resource Efficiency, and the B20 India Action Council on African Economic Integration.

Joel Ruet at the B20 Inception Meeting
Setting the tone for India’s 2023 G20 presidency

Organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), which has taken up the B20 India Secretariat, the Plenary Sessions of the B20 Inception Meeting, held at the Mahatma Mandir on January 23rd, set the tone for the summit and for India’s year presiding over the G20.

The inaugural session highlighted the vision, thematic priorities, and values which will drive the B20 India. Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), reminded participants of the acronym R.A.I.S.E – Responsible, Accelerated, Innovative, Sustainable and Equitable business – which will serve as the cornerstone of B20 India.

“The theme of the B20, which has been formed under the umbrella of G20 Presidency of India, is R.A.I.S.E. – Responsible, Accelerated, Innovative, Sustainable and Equitable business.”
Mr Chandrajit Banerjee
Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)

During his opening address on the requirements to deliver a successful B20 India, Mr N Chandrasekaran, Chair, B20 India, and Chairman, Tata Sons, stressed the role of reducing inequality thanks to digital transformation. He went on to underline some of the main priorities identified for B20 India, including sustainability, energy transition, mobility, biodiversity, water management and the UN SDGs.

"B20 presidency is an opportunity for India to showcase and share best practices as well as work towards developing specific recommendations on bringing equality using digital transformation.”
Mr N Chandrasekaran
Chair, B20 India & Chairman, Tata Sons
Sustainability and energy transitions:  B20 India Taskforce on Energy, Climate Change and Resource Efficiency

The centrality of the fight against climate change and the place of energy transitions and sustainable development in the B20 India priorities were introduced during the plenary session by Mr Som Parkash, Hon’ble Minister of State for Commerce & Industry​.

Minister Parkash said that “India, under G20 Presidency, needs to work towards prioritizing fight against climate change and environment degradation through efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote clean energy.”

This priority, in line with B20’s R.A.I.S.E motto, was echoed one day later, on January 24th, during the first meeting of the B20 India Taskforce on Energy, Climate Change and Resource Efficiency, which The Bridge Tank attended as a member of the Task Force.

The meeting, chaired by Mr T V Narendran, B20 India Co-Chair of Taskforce on Energy, Climate Change and Resource Efficiency and CEO & MD Tata Steel Ltd, presented the task force’s priorities and expected outcomes.

Hoping to accelerate energy transitions, resource efficiency, and adaptation measures in G20 economies, the task force’s priorities were pointed out to be in broad alignment with G20 priorities on climate change.

The goal is thus to address the following key issues :

  1. global net zero transitions;
  2. energy security and energy access;
  3. just transitions;
  4. circular economy and resource efficiency;
  5. climate finance and technology innovation;
  6. adaptation and resilience.
“India, under G20 Presidency, needs to work towards prioritizing fight against climate change and environment degradation through efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote clean energy.”
Mr Som Parkash
Hon’ble Minister of State for Commerce & Industry

The Task Force’s Priorities cover a variety of themes including:

  • Enhancing global cooperation in accelerating net-zero transition through global industry-specific coalitions, and channelling investments and financing towards global priorities and pathways;
  • Improving investments, development and commercialisation of green-energy technologies;
  • Improving climate finance through new financing pathways for energy transition, setting clear energy mandates for multilateral development banks, and harmonizing the development of national carbon markets;
  • Improving resource efficiency through regulatory frameworks, policies, business and financing models which encourage circular economy;
  • Implementing adaptation policies taking ecosystem-based approaches to provide resilient infrastructure, ensuring gender-inclusive adaptation, and mobilising finance for the implementation.

The expertise The Bridge Tank has accumulated over the years in energy trajectories and energy transitions, in addition to its various research and consulting projects centred on climate finance and blended finance but also contributing to the development of circular economy and sustainable development models will serve as valuable building blocks of The Bridge Tank’s contribution to the B20 Task Force, which will meet again on 14-15 March 2023.

Connecting Africa and G20: B20 India Action Council on African Economic Integration

Addressing B20 India’s efforts to represent the issues relevant to the global economy, Mr Sanjiv Bajaj, President of CII & Chairman & Managing Director, Bajaj Finserv Ltd, introduced the audience of the Plenary Session to the focused agenda and Action Council on the Economic Integration of Africa, which hopes to strengthen ties between African economies and the G20.

As a long-time advocate for a greater integration of the African continent in G20 actions and now a contributing member of the B20 India Action Council on African Economic Integration, The Bridge Tank salutes this initiative.

On January 24th, the last day of the Inception Meeting, The Bridge Tank thus also took part in the introductory session of the B20 India Action Council on African Economic Integration, which discussed the objectives and priorities of the council.

The meeting raised three main expected outcomes to bolster the economic integration of the African continent:

  1. The formulation of a Technical Assistance Facilities (TAFs) Programme by G20 members, in order to accelerate the AfCFTA implementation through technical and financial assistance to the 54 African nations
  2. Commitments by G20 states to each enter into customized Preferential Trade Agreements with at least 20 African nations (with a minimum of 100 tariff lines on products or services being liberalized in each of these agreements)
  3. Commitments by G20 states to each launch a minimum of 3 development finance programmes benefiting at least 5 African nations (either bilaterally or through multilateral institutions), covering themes like: industrial park programmes, energy or transport infrastructure projects, health, education and skilling initiatives, or micro, small, and medium enterprises funding programmes.
Expanding on these expected outcomes, Joel Ruet, Chairman, The Bridge Tank, put forward the idea of an origination fund for climate resilience & adaptation projects originating from and funded by the G20. In addition to that, the G20 could help derisk projects originated from African countries and companies.
 
The Bridge Tank will continue its efforts within both the the B20 India Taskforce on Energy, Climate Change and Resource Efficiency, and the B20 India Action Council on African Economic Integration in the coming months.

The Bridge Tank continues its involvement on hydrogen at COP 27 through a high-level panel on African Green Hydrogen Hubs

The Bridge Tank’s continued engagement on questions of hydrogen has put it at the forefront of public debate on the matter. Over the years, this has resulted in a number of publications on hydrogen (our report & our policy brief), and led to The Bridge Tank being the only think tank invited to the launch of the Hydrogen Council in Davos, in 2017.

This active involvement and expertise on hydrogen was once again put to use during this second week of COP 27 in Egypt.

The Bridge Tank, represented by Dr. Joel Ruet, President, and Dr. Hakima el Haite, board member, took part in a high level panel discussion co-organised by the International Solar Alliance and Liberal International on “Energy, Green Hydrogen in Africa; Perspectives for Solutions” in Sharm el Sheikh, on November 15th, 2022.

The meeting brought together prominent leaders from the political sphere to establish strategies for the African continent to sustainably harness its existing resources and meet its growing energy demand, while following a sustainable path to a net-zero future and delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals. This energy demand is a necessary component of the continent’s economic development and offers a way to lift many of its citizens out of poverty.

Participants to this high-level panel discussion included representatives from various government organizations, private sector actors, political figures, and members of the French and American press. Among these were the CEO of the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board, advisor to the President of Namibia, a representative of the Minister of Energy of Mauritania, a representative of the National Agency for Renewable Energies of Senegal, and the Vice-President of the Energy Commission of the Parliament of Portugal.

Further participants included the Secretary General of the International Youth Nuclear Congress (IYNC), the Director General of Energies 2050, and various members of Liberal International and investment representatives.

 

The discussions built on a presentation provided by the International Solar Alliance (ISA), which offered insights into a study on the possible development of green hydrogen hubs in Africa by 2030-2035. Financed by the European Investment Bank and supported by Liberal International, this study was conducted by the ISA, an organisation of about 120 nations launched in 2015 by Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, and Francois Hollande, Former President of France.

The study provides an innovative approach to green hydrogen production and hydrogen export perspectives for African countries, defining the creation of a local market as a necessary prerequisite for a stable long-term export strategy. This local hydrogen market would rely on a local industrial demand from “hard-to-abate” sectors (e.g. for the steel industry, ammonia production, energy, or mining), for which decarbonation is of intrinsic value.

Green hydrogen would be produced through water electrolysis making use of solar energy. With water being a rare commodity in the region, the strategy plans to make use of desalinated sea water. Production sites would therefore be near the sea and create local hydrogen ecosystems with industrial sites.

The energy needed for desalination would be covered by the produced green hydrogen, making for a cost- and energy-efficient production method. It would also be possible to desalinate more water than is needed for hydrogen production. This water could then be used for irrigation or be directly incorporated in urban water supplies, alleviating water stress on the African continent.

This plan is no mere abstraction but presents concrete and proven opportunities, as 14 such plants are currently being developed by HyDeal in Spain and Portugal.

Exporting hydrogen to Europe would thus only be a factor of interest at a later stage, after the establishment of a resilient and effective hydrogen ecosystem at the local level.

While many national strategies and studies focus on Africa’s potential as a producer and exporter of green hydrogen to Europe, this study provides the missing link to the establishment of such a production. It offers a way to secure and stabilise early local production through the creation of a domestic market. The potential of hydrogen would thus firstly be harvested for domestic consumption and industrial use within African countries before being used for exports.

In addition to that, this approach would create efficient and stable hydrogen ecosystems, relying on greater acceptance by the local population and industrial actors. This in turns provides national green hydrogen export programs with increased stability, granting them a strategic autonomy which would free them from a dependency of the international market, price variations, or uncertainty surrounding electrolyser technologies.

On the European side, this strategy would also allow economic hedging and greater scale-up efficiency.

The study offers a detailed and methodologically comparable assessment of possible hydrogen hubs in Africa. While it was primarily conducted in Egypt, Namibia, and Mauritania, the study’s conclusions can be replicated and expanded to other countries on the continent.

 

The Bridge Tank at the BOAO Forum for Asia 2022: Promote Energy Integration and Build Green World

The BOAO 2022 Forum was held from April 20 to 22 in a hybrid mode, aiming to conduct an open dialogue in a post-COVID world and on the prospects of common development in the world of tomorrow.

Since 2018, The Bridge Tank has participated in the annual “Chinese Davos” event. Our President, Joel Ruet spoke at a high-level panel in the presence of Mr. Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to China, Mr. Baodong Li, Secretary General, BOAO Forum and former Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of China, Mr. Mr. Jizhen Liu, Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering and Director of State Key Laboratory of Alternate Electrical Power System with Renewable Energy Sources, Mr. Hailiang Song, President of China Energy Engineering Group Co, Mr. Jianhua Hu, President of China Merchants Group and Mr. Haiping Xiang, Chief Engineer of China National Energy Administration.

In his speech, Joël Ruet spoke about the global issues related to energy integration and trajectories. He stressed the importance of “deep decarbonation technologies” in accelerating net zero emissions by 2035-2040. Until then, he added that each country or territory will have a role to play to have its own “transition trajectory”, not only adding renewable energies but also integrating them into the networks with a more rational and efficient use.

Joël Ruet addressed the issue of adaptation, which must no longer be looked separately from other issues. He illustrated his remarks through the example of carbon sinks, which have be created from optimized ecosystems everywhere, not only in forests, but also in savannahs or mangroves.

Dr. Ruet also demonstrated that energy trajectories are already low-carbon, which is particularly the case for Africa and most of the G77 countries. It is important that these trajectories are recognized as such and therefore funded by the North and that technology and know-how transfers are funded accordingly.

In response to the question of how to implement global support to energy trajectories of the global south, the President of The Bridge Tank proposed two solutions: first, allow the South to manage itself with more funding to create local champions, keep the gas trade open to them, and ensure that their carbon sinks are recognized as an incentive to develop them; and second, enable their local financial entities to play a larger role by recognizing that “risks” are over rated there in comparison to actually high profitability.

As in the 2021 edition, Joël Ruet was one of the three French speakers, representing the circle of Think Tanks, alongside Jean-Pierre Raffarin and Henry Giscard D’Estaing, who respectively represented the political and economic worlds.

Read here the agenda of the BOAO Forum 2022.

Analytical report: China’s value chain strategy on cobalt – lessons for EU

Strategic materials are ubiquitous in all sectors relevant for the green economy and the energy transition. Regarding cobalt, it owes its current visibility to its increasing use in low carbon technologies, also called green technologies (renewable energy and rechargeable batteries). Cobalt is used as an input in the magnets of wind turbines, and for the production of the cathodes of lithium-ion and nickel metal hydride batteries, which are then incorporated in electric or hybrid vehicles. In the current context of the electrification of mobility, cobalt is therefore regarded as a strategic material. The production of cobalt is however one of the prime examples of the unequal distribution of the earth’s resources, the metal being extremely concentrated in one country: the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), who represents 70% of global production, and the DRC’s reserved are controlled substantially by what has now become an unavoidable actor in the cobalt value chain: China.

As a continuation of our work on analysis China’s materials strategy, we have developed a report to analysis how China has imposed itself on the cobalt value chain, both upstream and downstream, and has progressively managed to build itself a comparative, if not absolute, advantage. This report aims to conduct a combined analysis of the strategies that have been implemented both by the Chinese government as well as industrial actors in order to gain this hegemonic position on the value chain. These strategies have allowed for the constitution of a resilient and dominant Chinese ecosystem around the cobalt value chain on the international stage.

Read our report here

Side event “From COP 26 Glasgow Commitments to COP 27 Egypt Opportunities: The MENA perspective Confirmation”: participation of our Board Members

On the occasion of the first edition of the UNFCCC MENA Climate Week, from 28th – 31st of March, hosted by the Government of United Arab Emirates, Liberal International, of which The Bridge Tank is a member has organized a virtual side event on 29th of March named: From COP 26 commitments to COP 27 opportunities: The MENA perspective.

The purpose of this event is to tackle the challenges and opportunities stemming from the shared commitment that was agreed at COP 26 in Glasgow, while looking ahead at COP 27 Egypt as an opportunity to increase ambitions. Moderated by the President of the Liberal International, UN High-level climate champion and our Board Member, Hakima El Haite asked a series of questions to each of the speakers.

Among them, our Board Member, Stéphane Gompertz was present in his capacity as former French Ambassador in African countries and Special Envoy for COP 21. He was first asked to give his perspective for the COP 27.

His vision for the next Conference of the Parties reflects the difficulties of raising the climate ambition and maintaining efforts in a context of tensions (COVID-19, War between Ukraine and Russia and War in Yemen). The different crises and current wars shift the priorities of the states and public spending. Money is spent more on wars than for climate action. The political ambitions aren’t now and won’t be as high as it was during the COP 21 and the COP 22. The COP 27, will take place in Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt, will have the difficult task of pushing the Parties’ effort to:

  • Help to pursuit government and public opinion to have a look in the future.
  • Push for solutions.
  • Continue to promote good practices in the field of adaptation.

Stéphane Gompertz then explained what should be done to keep the 1.5°C? He said that we have to look ahead. States act in the short and long term. Energy is a good example. In a short term basis, countries will use more fossil fuel. In a long term basis, we will see the positive effect on energy policy. For instance, France undertakes nuclear, without it, it won’t be enough effort to commit climate targets. However, the question of nuclear power is again debated in France in this electoral and the War between Ukraine and Russia context. But it is important to measure the risks over time: living with temperatures above 2-3°C or living with an energy mode low in CO2 emissions.

Mrs. Susana Rivero Baughman, who is the Foreign affairs and Cooperation Adviser at the Secretary of Climate Action, Government of Catalonia gave a short presentation of International Liberal’s action to Climate Justice Committee, which has recently adopted a policy paper “Liberal Perspectives on Climate Justice”. Mrs Baughman expressed the lack of actions between climate change and human rights and this is what the International Liberal is willing to do by developing a Policy Lab and strengthening their presence in COPs and international forums. She finally highlighted that the COP 27 will offer plenty of opportunities for Africa.

Mr. Sveinung Rotevatn, who is Former Minister of Climate and Environment in Norway, developed an evaluation form the COP26’s achievements. For Mr. Rotevatn the COP 26 was a success for 3 reasons:

  • Finish the Rule Book of the Paris Agreement, which constitutes a common framework among Parties.
  • Increase ambition. Bigger emitting countries increase their ambitions, most countries raise their ambitions in NCDs, the USA are back in the Paris Agreement and we keep the 1.5°C objective alive.
  • Sufficient commitment to increase finance: developing world can have confidence from the financing mechanisms. Industrial countries promise to double their climate finance. Pledges were made and it was well received from most developing countries.

He then explained that after 2 years of global pandemic, we have not lost the long term aspect of the climate crises. He then emphasized that Norway is one of the leading financiers and that the country will double its efforts in climate finance, notably for the preservation of tropical rainforest and mitigation and adaptation. He finally said that pollution tax is a necessary tool for a fair transition and support climate transition at country level, whereas at the global level, climate finance is a necessary tool.

Mrs Rania Al-Mashat, who is the Minister for International Cooperation of Egypt explained what will be the objectives and opportunities for the COP 27 in three messages:

  • The COP 27 is going to be impartial, even though this COP is organized in Africa.
  • Adaptation & resilience will be central and was one of the main outcomes from COP26.
  • Commitment to actions.

Mrs. Al-Mashat emphasized the outcomes from Glasgow, asking open questions that will need to be answered at COP 27.The private sector’s role need to be increased: “We are going from billions to trillions”. It is also important to think about how can we operationalize what it have been pledge. How to derisk green investments? How can we create opportunities for the blended finance? There is not enough operationalize projects financed. How can we leverage from successful countries and to replicate them?

The Bridge Tank Report – Renewable Energy auctions in Kazakhstan in light of Brazil, South Africa, Turkey, India and Germany

In the context of our accelerating and transforming economic and energy systems, renewable energy auction systems have contributed in some manner to stimulating the renewables sector over the past decades. This is mainly due to the lower costs of new technologies, useful for emerging countries lacking investment resources, but also to the political implementation of this auction mechanism by becoming a model instrument for clean energy.

To understand renewable energy auction systems and mechanisms, we conducted an analysis to lay elements of designing a methodology support of conducting renewable energy auctions in the scope of country experiences (Brazil, South Africa, Turkey, India and Germany) in order to identity the more or less effective auction system and sort the mechanisms and processes that could be replicated in other countries, contributing to the acceleration of the renewable energy market. Based on the results, we then drew up a methodology to support auction developments, particularly useful in developing countries. To ensure its relevance, we tested it on the case of Kazakhstan.

Read here our report (English): Renewable energy auction_report_221121

COP26 side event – Liberal International’s Declaration for Climate

8 November 2021, The Bridge Tank, an Observing Member to Liberal International participated to an online roundtable event on the fringes of COP26, hosted by ALDE Party and Liberal International.  Liberal policymakers and representatives from partner organizations congregated to share their views and exchange information on the ongoing United Nations Conference on Climate Change. The event was chaired by ALDE Party acting co-President Timmy Dooley and President of Liberal International Hakima El Haité.

The participants discussed the role of liberals when it comes to influencing the sustainability agenda in the next years, with a particular look at the first week of negotiations and an eye towards the second and final round of negotiations. Moreover, they also stressed the importance of the liberal voice, including younger generations, when it comes to building back better from the pandemic and generating jobs and growth as well as for the respect of rule of law across the globe.

At the end of the roundtable, the participants adopted a pledge calling on states to increase their climate ambitions. In this pledge, the participants called for stronger international cooperation to raise climate commitments and implement them, called on states to submit more ambitious NDCs, and urged for more technical and financial support to be granted to developing states to improve their capacity to take climate action. 

“Protection of global biodiversity is also essential to combat environmental degradation and climate change. Our planet is currently facing its sixth mass extinction as a consequence of human activity, and it is disrupting ecosystems around the world, threatening our food production, and increasing risks of pandemics. We must take bold and rapid action now to change this, and therefore call on states to include biodiversity protection as a central part in their climate action plans.

The time for talk is now over – the only option left is action.”

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