The International Energy Agency (IEA) and the United State have asked countries in Asia to widen the supply chains for key minerals and energy, while reducing reliance on China and Russia.
IEA executive cirector Fatih Birol and US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the energy crisis stemming from Western curbs on Russia in the wake of the Ukraine war should act as a warning for Indo-Pacific countries to focus more on shifting away from fossil fuels.
That would entail the region moving away from depending on China for solar power technology and countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo and Russia for critical minerals needed for electric vehicles and batteries.
‘Under The Thumb Of Petro-Dictators’
“We want to make sure that we are not as nations under the thumb of petro-dictators, under the thumb of those who don’t share our values, under the thumb of those who would like to control strategic aspects of the supply chain,” Granholm said at the Sydney Energy Forum.
The forum is being co-hosted by the Australian government and the IEA.
Birol said China accounts for 80% of the global supply chain of solar technology and by 2025 that will grow to a 95% share.
“Reliance for one single product, one single technology – to rely the entire world on one single country is something we all need to think about from an energy security perspective,” Birol told the forum.
On the energy supply side, he said anyone planning large new fossil fuel investments which will only come on line in several years’ time need to consider the climate risk and business risk for investors as the world switches to cleaner energy.
- Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard