The economic recovery must speed up clean energy transitions

Published 24-04-2020

A number of ministers and other high-level actors from around the world gathered around a virtual roundtable today to discuss how renewable energy and energy efficiency can play a key role in the global economic recovery.

(Se pressemeddelelsen på dansk)

The virtual ministerial roundtable was co-hosted by Dan Jørgensen, Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities, and Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, with the aim of starting the crucial conversation about how to align the economic recovery from the unprecedented global health crisis with an acceleration of clean energy transitions around the world.

"In the face of human tragedy and the plethora of consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have also been handed an opportunity to rebuild society in a manner that makes it more resilient to future crises. The choices we take now to kick-start our economies will also determine our ability to mitigate the impacts of climate change. The impressive turnout at today's roundtable is a clear indication that this approach resonates in many capitals, and I would like to thank all participants, and of course my great co-host Fatih, for their invaluable contributions," says the Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities, Dan Jørgensen.

"The immediate priority for all countries is to address the global health crisis by acting to protect the safety and well-being of their citizens. But countries will also need to revive their economies, which will involve ensuring their energy supplies remain reliable and secure. Making clean energy a key part of stimulus plans is an excellent strategy to generate short-term and long-term economic benefits while building a more resilient and sustainable energy future. I am delighted that such a high-profile and diverse group of ministers and leaders - in large part from countries supporting the IEA's Clean Energy Transitions Programme - joined us today for this vital conversation during such challenging times. I warmly thank everyone for their contributions, and Minister Jorgensen for his leadership," says Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency.

Today's meeting was an important first step in the effort to exchange ideas and drive strategic action. This will be followed up by continued work in participating countries and international organisations, including the IEA, to enable clean energy transitions to play a key role in economic recoveries.

"It was very encouraging to hear governments reaffirm their commitments to support renewables and energy efficiency despite the current crisis. As the leading global energy authority covering all fuels and all technologies, the IEA will continue to support governments with the highest quality data, analysis and advice to inform the enormously consequential decisions they are making as they design their stimulus packages. In June, we will release a new World Energy Outlook special report that will provide hard numbers on the economic and job-creation potential of building a more resilient and cleaner energy sector," says Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency.

"Today's discussion provided ample food for thought. Renewable energy and energy efficiency are both cornerstones in our fight against climate change, and at the same time both sectors have massive job potential. As we look to stimulate the economy, it only makes sense to design our interventions in ways that takes advantage of these synergies. Not only will that allow us to create even more green jobs, it will also support and underpin our efforts to keep global temperature rise to manageable levels," says the Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities, Dan Jørgensen.


The roundtable was attended by:

  • H.E. Mr. Dan Jørgensen, Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities, Denmark (co-host)
  • Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director, International Energy Agency (co-host)
  • Ms. Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General, United Nations H.E.
  • Mr. Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President, European Commission
  • H.E. Ms. Simonetta Sommaruga, President of Switzerland
  • Hon. Mr. Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources, Canada
  • H.E. Ms. Elisabeth Borne, Minister for an Ecological and Inclusive Transition, France
  • H.E. Mr. Raj Kumar Singh, Minister of Power, India
  • H.E. Mr. Arifin Tasrif, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Indonesia Hon.
  • Ms. Megan Woods, Minister of Energy and Resources, New Zealand
  • H.E. Mr. Anders Ygeman, Minister of Energy and Digital Development, Sweden
  • Rt Hon Mr. K. Kwarteng MP, Minister of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, United Kingdom
  • H.E. Ms. Kadri Simson, Commissioner for Energy, European Commission
  • Mr. Kimmo Tiilikainen, State Secretary, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Finland
  • Mr. Andreas Feicht, State Secretary for Energy, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Germany
  • Ms. Alessandra Todde, State Secretary for Economic Development, Italy
  • H.E. Mr. Alex Robson, Ambassador, Permanent Delegation of Australia to the OECD
  • Mr. Sandor Gaastra, Director-General Climate and Energy, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, The Netherlands
  • Mr. Francesco La Camera, Director-General, IRENA
  • Ms. Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation
  • Mr. Kim Fausing, CEO, Danfoss
  • Mr. Gurdeep Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, NTPC
  • Mr. Jean-Pascal Tricoire, CEO, Schneider Electric


Government of Denmark Contact: Press Officer Lasse Bendtsen, phone: +45 41 72 38 84/ email:

IEA Contact: Press Officer Merve Erdil, phone: +33 (0)1 40 57 65 00 / email:


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Ministerial roundtable - Summary note

Green Deal Statement

Denmark has also within the EU pushed for green ambitions post-covid-19 with a Green Deal Statement saying that the EU’s Green Deal should play a central role in EU’s economic recovery after COVID-19. The Statement has so far been signed by ministers from 18 member states including Denmark.