19 February 2013

Transparency is essential for the normal functioning of financial markets, including in the energy sector

In her welcoming remarks at the Energy Sustainability Working Group Meeting, the Russian G20 Sherpa and Chief of the Presidential Experts' Directorate Ksenia Yudaeva reminded of Russia's Presidency priorities: growth through quality jobs and investment, growth through trust and transparency; growth through effective regulation.  "These priorities precisely match the Energy Sustainability Working Group agenda," - Ksenia Yudaeva remarked.

«In the short-term we will have to double global investments in infrastructure," - Russian Sherpa said. "According to McKinsey Global Institute, the world's estimated need for infrastructure investment is to be around $57 trillion between 2013 and 2030, from which one fourth accounts for energy infrastructure. The G20 should introduce measures aimed at helping markets finance these investments," - Ms. Yudaeva mentioned.

"Besides, recent experience suggests that transparency is the necessary condition for normal operation of financial markets, including energy markets. Several initiatives are already launched to collect corresponding data. The Russian Presidency plans to slightly shift emphasis in this work from simple data collection to possibility of its effective use to forecast and predict the future situation at financial markets," - the Russian Sherpa added.

The second important working strand deals with effective investment regulation aimed at investment facilitation. Russia suggests launching exchange of best practices in this sphere and developing such regulatory framework options that will balance short- and long-term interest of consumers and investors, as well as strategic long-term interests linked to the issue of green growth. "In the course of our work on green growth we will support the initiative on fossil fuel subsidies reduction," - Ksenia Yudaeva commented.

The third direction refers to launching best practice sharing mechanism on marine protection that is previewed by the GMEP initiative. This initiative has been given start with Russia's participation after the Gulf of Mexico incident. The major objective of the initiative is to facilitate information exchange with regard to technologies of decreasing sea shelf exploration environmental impact. "Within our Presidency tenure, we expect significant breakthrough decisions in this sphere, we hope to create efficient mechanism of best practices sharing and to launch a corresponding website," - Ksenia Yudaeva concluded.

The delegates were also addressed by Director of the Department for International Financial Relations of Russian Ministry of Finance Andrey Bokarev. He reported on the outcomes of the recent First Finance Ministers and Central banks Governors' Meeting. He also spoke on the main priorities in the sphere of energy within the Financial track of Russia's G20 Presidency.

"One of the main activities for the ESWG this year is to seek full implementation of prior commitments. It has strong support from Finance Ministers and should be the core issue," - Andrey Bokarev stressed. - "Despite the progress that has been previously achieved, we have to intensify our actions to make energy and commodity markets more transparent and predictable. We have to mitigate price volatility, and increase energy efficiency and sustainability." 

According to Mr. Bokarev, "it is very important for the ESWG to pay attention to strengthening the G20's shared understanding of energy policy agenda by conducting broader debate on critical issues. These debates will let us achieve a number of practical deliverables to be submitted for our Leaders' consideration during the summit in September."