Meeting the challenges of climate change and global crises is a global task. With almost 30 partner countries, the bilateral energy and climate partnerships and energy dialogues are central instruments of the foreign energy and climate policy of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. They form a worldwide, constantly growing and valuable network between Germany and countries that are striving to transform their energy systems for a sustainable, economically attractive and secure energy transition.
Interest in the German energy transition and in an intensive political, business, scientific, economic and civil society dialogue continues unabated. After two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, in 2022 stakeholders were finally able to meet in person again. Major international events have provided opportunities for exchange – for example, bilateral talks or delegation trips. Workshops or study visits stimulated the discourse and dialogue on a practical implementation level.
Different kinds of cooperation for a wide range of focal points
Energy and climate partnerships Energy dialogues Hydrogen partnerships
Within the framework of an energy and climate partnership, Germany works with a partner country on a range of energy, climate and economic topics. Key areas include the expansion of renewable energy and its integration into the system, increasing energy efficiency, the integration of joint climate instruments such as carbon pricing, and navigating the ecological and social dimensions of this transition. The focus of cooperation is also increasingly on energy security. Partnerships are based on a signed declaration of intent.
An energy dialogue is the preliminary stage of a climate and energy partnership. It fundamentally pursues the same objectives as climate and energy partnerships, but is not based on a formal declaration of intent and features no formal structures.
Germany collaborates with a growing number of countries to accelerate the expansion of green hydrogen. While many hydrogen partnerships are being implemented within the framework of existing climate and energy partnerships, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action enters into specific hydrogen partnerships with strategic exporting and importing countries. Like the energy and climate partnerships, this joint work is based on a signed declaration of intent.
New partnerships and a growing network
The goal and guiding principle of all cooperation formats is to support global climate action in order to achieve the 1.5 degree target and realise the global energy transition.
A number of new collaborations were concluded in 2022: energy partnerships with Israel and Qatar and an energy dialogue with Viet Nam. Hydrogen partnerships were developed with Egypt, Namibia, Canada, and Saudi Arabia. In addition, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action established its first energy and climate partnership with the USA and added a climate partnership to the energy partnership with the United Arab Emirates.
An increasingly forward-looking agenda
A successful energy transition combines security of supply and competitiveness with effective climate change mitigation. Carbon-free alternatives are thus becoming increasingly important, also with regard to gaseous and liquid forms of energy. The partnerships underline the importance of green hydrogen as an alternative to fossil fuels. Some international green hydrogen pilot projects have already been implemented, for example together with Chile or Saudi Arabia. Building sustainable supply chains for security of supply is one of the main goals of our 29 energy partnerships and dialogues.
The increasing decentralisation worldwide which is resulting from the expansion of renewables, innovative storage solutions, electric mobility and further flexibility options, including demand-side solutions, is making energy supply systems more complex, necessitating greater flexibility. As a result, the focus of bilateral energy cooperation is increasingly being placed on the digitisation of the energy sector.
Regular working group meetings address topics such as grid and system rules, electricity market design, hydrogen strategies, coal phase-out, energy audits and building efficiency, grid expansion, cybersecurity and blockchain, as well as fundamental questions about socially acceptable structural change and local economic and employment developments.
Partnerships as a means for bilateral solutions
Energy and climate partnerships and energy dialogues play a prominent role in developing sustainable, country-specific approaches to the challenges posed by the energy transition, always in close cooperation with the partner countries and with local experts. Not only are they instrumental in promoting the worldwide expansion of renewables and the dissemination of efficient energy technologies, but also in ensuring a permanent international dialogue on political and economic issues related to the energy transition and in supporting energy companies in Germany and abroad. They also provide impetus for energy industry innovations and for economic cooperation on the path to a global energy transition.
Promoting women in the energy transition
The promotion of women has turned out to be an important issue for the successful implementation of the energy transition. This is because female energy experts continue to be underrepresented in the energy sector, especially in technical professions and in leadership positions. If the energy transition is to be inclusive and equitable, women must therefore become more involved. The energy partnerships contribute to this: they increase the visibility of committed female energy experts, offer them the opportunity to network internationally and strengthen their expertise and perception through mentoring programmes and events.
Change lets us grow together
Especially in these ongoing times of crisis, we are dependent on reliable partners at our side who pursue the same goal of global climate action. The energy and climate partnerships and dialogues are the best proof of the potential that lies in trusting cooperation and knowledge transfer.
Country-specific information can be found on the websites of the energy partnerships.
South Africa: www.energypartnership.org.za
South Korea: www.energypartnership-korea.org
United Arab Emirates: www.energypartnership-uae.org