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G7 Multi-Stakeholder Conference. Thomas Zielke

Source: Jan Reichel, BMWK

Good afternoon: I am delighted to look back at our conference of today trying to sum up a few of the findings among all of the valuable contributions from today.

State Secretary Udo Philipp in his opening speech pointed out that as the G7, we should and could be pioneers for climate and environmental protection by accelerating a digital, global energy transition for a sustainable and digitized economy. With the support of international standardization, yet we can set joint impulses for this.

With their "London Declaration" from 2021, the international standards organizations ISO and IEC have also dedicated themselves to the goal of making a significant contribution to climate action and the global energy transition through standards, as ISO President Ulrika Francke explained to us – namely new standards for the environment to fight de-forestation and to ensure water security. Standards will be needed to verify reporting and, capacities will certainly have to be built in developing countries.

In the first session named "Standardisation to Support the Global Climate Agenda", the panelists Laura Sandys (Chair of BSI's Net Zero Strategic Advisory Group), Dr Ulrich Stoll (DIN President), Daniele Pernigotti (Chair of CEN/TC 467) and Romain Poivet (Chair of ISO/TC207/SC7/WG4), moderated by Sibylle Gabler (Head of Government Relations at DIN), - some of them chairpersons of important technical committees - explained how this can be achieved: In the standardizations bodies themselves, but also by setting up corresponding structures between the national standardization organizations and government authorities. Plus, by a targeted strategic consultation in order to define the corresponding standardization needs.

Which in my view at G 7 members might call for a well-balanced mix of both a top-down and a bottom-up approach in order to determine certain topics of standardization and the consecutive action required. Which further on calls for a Public Private Partnership between governmental and private experts.

There was a call toward government representatives to actively use the instrument of standardization, while their potential has not yet been exhausted. In particular standards can help to pave an express-road toward decarbonization along the entire value chain compared to regulation. We also should emphasize standards are more and faster adjustable than regulations when technological changes apply calling for a new framework.

In the second session called "Standardization for a Digitally enabled, smart and sustainable Global Energy Transition", moderated by Roland Bent (DKE President) together with panelists Hideki Hayashi (IEC/SyC Smart Energy, Toshiba Coorp.), Sonya Bird (Director International Standards and IEC/SMB Member) and Michael Teigeler (Chair IEC/ahG95 'All Electric Society', DKE Managing Director), they highlighted the need to link the various industrial sectors more closely.

Only standards could enable sector coupling in the sense of the energy transition, e.g. through uniform data requirements. If this succeeded, the vision of an "All Electric Society" could become reality through regeneratively generated energy.

The role of standardization in the implementation of the energy transition in Japan, the USA and Germany were discussed. Standards are the basis for the global energy transition by connecting sectors and creating uniform communication formats. The standardization organizations provide a common platform for sectors that previously worked separately from each other.

Actually, in my view this means: A smart and digitized distribution of energy that would enable us to combine the advantages and disadvantages of different energy sources to a sound mix of power supply, with the help of the international standardization community could become a source of energy or an extra energy savings plan in itself. The G7 could accompany this process and support the development of international standards.

In session 3 we witnessed a clear stance made by the panel on how important the experts are, who contribute their knowledge to standardization. Especially small and medium-sized enterprises are an important contributor to expertise needed in technical committees of standardization. However, there is an HR problem, financing is critical, we are lacking the expertise from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and, we have a challenge to find young engineers and experts worldwide and in our G 7 nations.

It was discussed how SME could be supported in their active participation in standardizations processes and how knowledge about standardization could be integrated into education and training of the experts of tomorrow, moderated by my colleague Gerhild Roth.

Pierre Bilodeau from the Standards Council of Canada presented best-practice examples from the Canadian standardizations organization (SCC) on how to better involve SMEs in standardizations work. We got a few outstanding examples how this could be accomplished. In order to make it easier for SME to access and use standards and to participate in standardization work, our ministry and DIN have jointly set up the Commission for SME (KOMMIT). Andreas Schumann presented the network platform, which is committed to the needs of SME in standardization. Lea Emmel presented "Next Generation DKE", a network for young experts in electrotechnical standardizations, as an example of the targeted approach to students and young professionals. A final example was presented by Sara Gobbi (ASTM International, USA). Many good approaches were shown here on how standards can already be integrated and promoted in higher education and teaching.

Allow me a personal observation I made when I participated in an ITU Youth Summit panel on standardization in Kigali/Ruanda this year. Among the more than 100 participants – all young professionals mainly from Africa – it was evident how much they understood the importance of standards in their countries. So, when looking to the new generation we could find and support experts there, already working for local start-ups, companies or branches of international corporations.

I am also glad we could get into interaction with our world-wide audience with the help of Slido. This gave both the on-site and online participants the opportunity to actively participate in the conference.

Dear ladies and gentlemen, this would then conclude our hybrid multi-stakeholder conference on “Standardization – a strategic instrument for climate action and the global digital energy transition” which took place as part of the activities of the Digital Minister’s Track under Germany’s G7 Presidency on the subject of standardization.

I certainly would on behalf of the German G 7 presidency of this year like to express my sincere thanks again to all participants for staying with us. Also, I would like to extend again my appreciation and thanks to all experts contributing, presenting and discussing the different topics we will talked about today. Last but not least, thank you to all supporting organizers who made this event possible.