ABSTRACT

A typical feature of today’s emerging global energy governance is that concerts seem to play a prominent role. As for the climate regime, the multilateral UN system has always acted as the main site for global decision-making, but – with a view to the post-Kyoto regime – also in this area world leaders have recurred to concert formulas, such as the G8 Gleneagles Process, the Major Economies Meetings and the Major Economies Forum. The overall picture is that classical multilateralism, embodied by international organizations with their assemblies, councils and secretariats, is not longer considered capable of providing the leadership for energy as a “mega-issue.” As we will see, the bulk of concert activity is centered around the G8. Therefore the largest part of our analysis will be dedicated to the G8 and the burgeoning G8+5 system. Even the US-initiated Major Economies Meetings and Forum have entered into the orbit of the G8, with its 2008 and 2009 summits being held in the margins of the annual G8 summits. Our study will focus on the recent period, more precisely from the 2005 G8 summit in Gleneagles onwards. With this summit the G8 system entered fully into the comprehensive new energy debate as presented in Chapter 2. That summit was also significant for the growth of the G8 system both in terms of agenda and outreach to other countries and institutions. Nonetheless, besides the G8, over the past years some other initiatives have seen the light. The year 2005 also witnessed the start of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (APP) (see Chapter 4) and the Major Economies Meetings. This chapter provides a brief factual overview of the output of the G8 and related forums concerning global energy governance. Chapter 8 will critically evaluate the G8’s recent track record against the double benchmark of leadership for sustainability.