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  • G20 Natural Gas Day: IGU and National Energy Administration of China Co-Host High-Level G20 Event

Within the current context of the post-COP 21 agreement, the International Gas Union (IGU) and the National Energy Administration of China (NEA) co-hosted the G20 Natural Gas Day in Beijing, China, on 29 June. Held one day before the G20 Energy Ministers meeting and a day after the third meeting of the G20 Energy Sustainable Working Group under the Chinese presidency, the event brought together G20 ministers, policy makers and representatives of the international gas business to explore the different ways that natural gas can contribute to a sustainable energy future.

Global energy governance and advanced efforts for reaching the COP 21 targets was central to the G20 energy talks. The three panel sessions of the day, emphasized the role of natural gas as an economic, secure and clean source of energy, and the role it can and should play as a facilitator and catalyst of energy transition, as well as a key pathway towards a sustainable development. Debates encouraged delegates to enact policies to support further development of natural gas industry in order to make this happen.

The main findings of the panel discussions include the following:

  • Energy will remain a critical and necessary driving force for human development.
  • The strategic planning of access to and supply of energy must focus on long term economic and environmental sustainability, while at the same time be practical and balance the needs of affordability, security and environment.
  • The challenges of industrial development cannot be ignored and there is need to balance public health constraints with sustainable economic growth.
  • Many regions of the world continue to suffer from energy shortages or energy access challenges.
  • Greater adoption and deployment of renewable energies are critical in the transition to a sustainable energy future, but hydrocarbonswill play a critical role in providing energy across the globe for years to come.
  • Natural gas will play an unprecedented role in the global energy transformation as a vital source on its own and in its unique ability to enable and support the greater deployment of renewable energies.
  • The pivotal role of natural gas in the world energy transformation will go far beyond its position as a bridge fuel – it will be a critical element of the world’s energy future.
  • Efforts to reduce methane emissions through better measurements, documentation and similar are necessary. Best practices should continue to be shared within the industry and with external stakeholders in support of these efforts.
  • With its economic advantages, natural gas has become a source of “world energy” that is available, affordable, economical, clean and sustainable.
  • It is more urgent than ever for governments to differentiate natural gas from other fossil fuels with effective and favorable policies. There is a critical need for industry participants and policy makers to collaborate to correct any misunderstanding and improve public perception to allow for a greater promotion and development of natural gas.


The IGU President, David Carroll; the IGU Secretary General, Pål Rasmussen; and the IGU Director Public Affairs, Menelaos (Mel) Ydreos participated in the panels. The Secretary General’s presentation can be accessed here. On the 30 June, the IGU President presented the following proclamation to the G20 Ministerial meeting.

For more information on the G20 Natural Gas Day, please see the context piece G20 Natural Gas Day: Natural Gas Promoting Sustainable Development and the agenda.

IGU would like to thank the Chinese G20 Presidency and the National Energy Administration for the opportunity to co-host the G20 Natural Gas Day. We also extend our gratitude and appreciation to our Chinese Industry Host Organisations and the Host Chair.


Welcome Speech:

Global gas markets in transition – Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director, International Energy Agency (IEA)

Panel 1 – Natural Gas: An Economic, Secure and Flexible Energy Source

Natural gas offers solutions to the world’s economic and environmental challenges in a secure, flexible and sustainable way. Enhanced usage of natural gas is the single most effective way for the world to responsibly reduce emissions. Through its flexibility natural gas can complement other energy sources. Natural gas provides a proven solution that works in almost any application for all energy uses, is affordable and plentiful around the world.

  • Natural Gas: Realistic Choice to Green & Low Carbon Future – Mr Xu Wenrong, Vice President of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC)
  • Make Natural Gas A Fundamental Energy in China – Ms Li Yalan, Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Beijing Gas Group Co., Ltd. (click here for Chinese)
  • Meeting global energy demand while reducing emissions requires urgent, pragmatic action – Mr Maarten Wetselaar, Integrated Gas & New Energies Director, Royal Dutch Shell
  • The Role of Natural Gas in China’s Energy Transition – Mr Alfred W K Chan, Managing Director, The Hong Kong and China Gas Company Limited
  • China and The Age of Gas – Mr Dev Sanyal, Chief Executive, Alternative Energy Executive Vice President, Regions, BP
  • Comment – Mr Rob Heferen, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Australian Government


Panel 2 – Strategic / Future Scenario for Natural Gas: Responding to Climate Change and Clean Air

Natural gas is a clean fuel from an environmental perspective. It is also highly efficient in its production, transportation and use. This combination of relatively low pollutants and emissions and high efficiency levels results in less environmental impact with respect to climate change, acid rain, urban smog, solid waste, water quality and visibility. The challenge for environmental and energy policy makers is to create a framework within which natural gas can play its full and important part of the energy mix.

  • To Increase International Cooperation and Realize the Promising Future of Natural Gas – Dr Sun Xiansheng, Former President and Chief Expert of Economics & Technology Research Institute, CNPC
  • Case Studies in Improving Urban Air Quality – Mr Pål Rasmussen Secretary General of the International Gas Union (IGU)
  • The Strategic Use of Natural Gas in China – Mr Todd M Johnson, Energy Sector Coordinator, China and Mongolia, World Bank
  • Natural Gas As a Change-Bringer for Energy Sustainability – Eng. Khaled Abubakr, Chairman of Egyptian Gas Association
  • Comment – Ms Kim Rudd, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, Canada
  • Comment – Mr David Sandalow, Inaugural Fellow Center on Global Energy Policy Columbia University, Former Under Secretary of Energy (Acting) and Assistant Secretary for Policy & International Affairs, US Department of Energy

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