Journal Article
No. 2019-48 | December 05, 2019
Advancing a global transition to clean energy – the role of international cooperation
(Published as Global Solutions Paper)


International cooperation in support of a global energy transition is on the rise, and official develop­ment assistance (ODA) in the energy sector is increasingly being directed to renewable energy sources. Nevertheless, it is widely acknowledged that investment towards achieving the SDG 7 on clean and affordable energy is insufficient. Moreover, investment in clean energy remains heavily concentrated in a small number of frontrunner countries and overwhelmingly targets grid-connected electricity generation. Worryingly, significant share of international public sector financeing, most notably by export-credit agencies, is still allocated to coal and other fossil-based technologies. Against this background, this paper makes three recommendations for strengthening international cooperation in support of a global energy transition. (1) Promote investment in clean energy and end support for coal-based energy infrastructure. OECD and G20 countries should lead the way by discontinuing all public investment support for new coal-based energy infrastructure and establish guidelines for support to other fossil-based investments. (2) Promote evidence-policy dialogue on the socio-economic dimension of the global energy transition. International cooperation should play an active role in mobilising socio-economic benefits and address potential risks by supporting evidence-based policy dialogue based on robust assessments at both the country and global levels. (3) Provide early market support to promote challenge-based energy innovation. SE4ALL or Mission Innovation should create multi-stakeholder, challenge-based initiatives to promote clean energy innovation in developing and emerging economies and foster early market demand for related products or services.

JEL Classification:

O12, O13, Q38


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Cite As

Rainer Quitzow, Sonja Thielges, Andreas Goldthau, Sebastian Helgenberger, and Grace Mbungu (2019). Advancing a global transition to clean energy – the role of international cooperation. Economics: The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, 13 (2019-48): 1–18.

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