The ‘s’ that makes all the difference: Plural and pluralism

Olaf Martins, Global Engagement Manager, IOGP

Last month I participated in a B20 meeting in Bariloche, a ski resort in Argentina.

Olaf Martins
Olaf Martins at B20

B20 is the process established by the G20 nations to enable businesses (hence the ‘B’) to provide their thoughts to the leaders of the G20 nations, who will meet in Buenos Aires on 30 November – their first such gathering in South America.

The Bariloche visit was an experience that certainly shifted any pre-conceptions I might have had about both South America and sustainability.

For a start, the weather was unsettling.  As a northern hemisphere dweller, I can intellectually accept that when it’s summer for me, it’s winter down below.  But having left a scorching London to land in a Bariloche blizzard, the reality hit hard.

Down to business

But snow drifts notwithstanding, it was soon down to business.

Miguel Moyano. ARPEL
Miguel Moyano. ARPEL

The B20 process includes nine task forces.  These cover topics that include trade, investment and education.   As IOGP’s representative, I naturally became involved in the Energy, Resource Efficiency & Sustainability (ERES)Task Force.  This is led by Miguel Gutiérrez, Chairman of YPF, an IOGP member company.   Among other IOGP members on the Task Force is the Latin American regional association, ARPEL, represented by Miguel Moyano.

Commenting on the role of our Task Force, Mr. Gutiérrez says  “We as the energy industry have not only the responsibility, but also the skills, know how, innovative technologies and applied creativity, to help shape the future towards cleaner alternatives.  The B20 ERES Task Force offers a unique opportunity to play a leading role in the dialogue and the collective construction of cleaner energy transitions for the region and globally.”

Bariloche deliberations focused on cleaner technologies, energy efficiency, affordable energy, resource efficiency and climate adaptation.

Different paths to the same objectives

In parallel to our B20 discussions, the G20 energy ministers also met in Bariloche.  Their official communique said:

“We welcome the approach of Argentina’s G20 Presidency, which recognises that there are different possible national paths to achieve cleaner energy systems – while promoting sustainability, resilience and energy security – under the term ‘transitions’ (in plural).  This view reflects the fact that each G20 member – according to its stage of development – has a unique and diverse energy system as starting point, with different energy resources, demand dynamics, technologies, stock of capital, geographies and cultures.”

The use of the plural ‘transitions’ in the G20 communique, underscores the pluralism that guides our B20 task force’s philosophy:  that there are many ways to achieve sustainability goals.

Between now and the G20 Buenos Aires Summit in the heat of a South American summer, our Task Force will finalize policy recommendations and also look into related advocacy.

Meanwhile, here is a link the G20 communique in full:   https://g20.org/en/news/g20-energy-ministers-official-communique

To learn more about B20 in general and our task force in particular, visit: https://www.b20argentina.info/

About Olaf Martins

Olaf is IOGP’s global engagement manager.  He has over 25 years’ experience in the industry. Before joining IOGP Olaf was with ExxonMobil, where he held a number of senior public affairs roles, including most recently his position as ExxonMobil Central Europe Holding’s manager of government relations and media. Olaf’s educational background is in economics.

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