Global Governance of Energy Resources

15th KAS-SUIBE WTO Conference

Also available in Deutsch, 中文

This year, the annual SUIBE-KAS WTO-Conference focused on the topic of designing sustainable energy policies, which set standards for a global implementation. Experts from academics and practitioners discussed the challenges, developments and implications, which evolve from national experiences and provide basis for the implementation on an international level.

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SUIBE Jahreskonferenz 1

Prof. XU Yonglin, Vice President of Shanghai University of International Business and Economics stressed the value, the conference-series would add to the academic discourse on the economic order.

ZHOU Hanmin, the vice-president of the Shanghai People´s Political Consultative Committee, gave insights into the national agenda, displaying China’s intention to assume responsibility by investing in renewable energies. In addition, he drew attention to the urgency of adapting global trade structures in the context of climate change.

Professor Dr. Jörn RICHERT from the University of St. Gallen outlined in is presentation on the German energy transition and its role in the German foreign policy, the impact that energy policies can have in a global context. As a consequence of the energy transition away from fossil fuels, the market for renewable energy expanded and transformed and created the establishment of such comprehensive energy policies also in other countries via spill-over effects. This forms the foundation of a common European approach, which however still mainly exists in theoretical considerations. On top of this, many malfunctioning mechanisms from the German approach still have to be critically reviewed.
Professor YANG Jun from the Institute for Finance of Shanghai University for Business and Economics portrayed in his speech the relation between energy political and geopolitical strategies. He illustrated his thoughts by illustrating the oil exports policy of the United States of America. Professor ZHANG Yongan from the Business School of SUIBE supported this view by focusing on the Silk Road initiative. Thus, in the case of declining relations between China and Central Asian neighboring countries, a severe threat for the Chinese energy supply might arise.

The second panel of the conference dealt with the financing of renewable energies. Professor LIU Xiying from the Energy Studies Institute of National University of Singapore emphasized that reforms of the energy pricing mechanisms are necessary for the establishing of regional governance structures. In particular investments have to be promoted and the efficiency of energy markets sustainably increased, in order to create processes of adaptation and foster a rethinking of various actors. The example of ASEAN shows how a gradual implementation of energy reforms in the member states can in the medium term form the structures of a regional approach to energy policy. Esther CHRISCHILLES of the Institute of the German Economy presented the importance of competition for the implementation of the energy transition. The high amounts of state subsidies in the solar industry initially lead to overinvestment, which however lowered end-consumer prices in the long-run in combination with the significant increase of feeding-in capacity. The energy sector in Germany however displayed that there is also a need for competition of diverse sets of technologies. Specifically the reduction of emissions by establishing an emissions trading system is expected to prove to be efficient.

The third panel provided a platform for speakers to deal with the perspectives of the conditions and transformations of the global governance system. Professor LIN Boqiang of the School of Energy Research of Xiamen University underlined the relationship between the economic structural reforms in China and the declining energy demand. Thus, in light of the New Norma-Agenda in China, energy efficiency will play a significant role in the reformulation of standards related to value creation of corporations. Consequently, a rising share of energy demand has to be renewable energies. Professor Lin therefore perceives the renunciation of coal as indispensable. The proclaimed aim is to create change in the energy sector without skyrocketing prices. If this is to be achieved, energy political reforms will be more likely to be welcomed.

Professor HAN Liyan of the School of Business and Management of Beihang University in Beijing pointed out the necessity of connecting the specific characteristics of industries with the possibilities of new technologies. This would be the precondition of new standards, which monitor carbon dioxide more closely. Combined with a distinct catalog of incentives, this would sustainably raise the competitiveness of the market.

Professor GUO Xuetang directed the audience’s attention towards the future of a global energy policy. He requested a stronger integration of the topic in multilateral negotiations and hopes for stronger stimuli through cooperation in energy infrastructure and energy conservation related negotiations.
The concluding panel discussion, which was moderated by Nina TRENTMANN, Die WELT, dealt with the presented topics regarding the global arrangement of energy policy. It became apparent that the Germany sets an interesting case for the Chinese and global discussion, which however may not be ideal for every single step of reform. The sustaining of competitiveness has been singled out as the core of a possible solution. Therefore it would be necessary to continuously accelerate the conditions for an integrated energy policy.

Publication series

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China, December 11, 2015


Tim Wenniges