G20 International Standards Summit 2022: Standards for a sustainable future
The International Standards Summit 2022, an official G20 side event, was held in Bali on 20 October. It was hosted by the Indonesian National Standardization Agency (Badan Standardisasi Nasional - BSN) and co-organised by the World Standards Cooperation (WSC). WSC is a joint venture of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Key subjects were renewable energy standards and digital transformation, with IEC, ISO and ITU providing the framework for concrete solutions. As a participating entity, the World Trade Organization (WTO) was also represented at the summit.
Renewable energy standards for efficient energy use
As the population grows, so does the energy demand - especially in emerging nations like Indonesia. Using renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power allows countries to fulfil rising demand while also accelerating global decarbonisation. Developed renewable energy standards assist to guarantee that the system operates safely and efficiently.
Nevertheless, the transition from non-renewable to renewable energy requires an implementation framework. Dadan Kusdiana, Director General of New, Renewable Energy, and Energy Conservation of the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral - Kementerian ESDM), elaborated that the framework for implementing the transition must base on standards. This approach can provide countries with best practices and guidelines. Without standards, countries would have no tools for change.
Kusdiana further explained that the Government of Indonesia encourages the adoption of international standards for renewable energy. To this end, the government is particularly committed to the adoption of ISO 50001 on energy management systems. The ISO 50001 standard helps organisations to develop and implement an energy policy. The goal of the standard is to use energy efficiently, reduce energy waste, and lower energy costs. Managing the energy system according to the standards could help reduce gas emissions by about 20 %. He concluded that transitioning to renewable energy and managing the energy system can increase energy capacity and reduce gas emissions at the same time.
Trust in Artificial Intelligence (AI) is built on standards
Manish Pant, Zone President East Asia & Japan at Schneider Electric highlighted the growing demand for energy. More energy is needed as countries turn to renewable energy sources to combat dwindling natural resources. Pant also pointed out that during this energy transition, the world is experiencing a digital transformation. The pandemic has led countries to better adapt to the use of digital devices. These further add to the increasing demand for connectivity and energy as emphasised by Ilham Akbar Habibie, Chair of the National Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Council (Dewan Teknologi Informasi dan Komunikasi Nasional – WANTIKNAS). As part of this rapid transformation, the emergence of AI is radically changing business strategies and transforming people's everyday lives.
During the event, Wael Diab, the Chair of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 42, called attention to the steady increase of AI usage. Machine learning and automation are now integrated into our daily lives and those of businesses alike. Several billion people use the internet every day. In the process, they exchange various information and leave behind data. This data is used and learned by AI to create a tailored experience for the user. Diab also indicated that companies are mainly using AI to increase the efficiency of their business operations, which has a strong impact on their market value. This results in an increasing need for trust in the use of AI. Diab emphasised that this trust must be built on standards.
He further explained that standards for the use of AI are currently being developed by the Joint Committee of IEC and ISO. The standards are intended to serve not only political regulation but also human ethics, e.g., regarding data processing and data security. They will include guidelines on AI use, interoperability, data standards and use cases. These standards strengthen the confidence of people and businesses in the safe integration of AI.
Ultimately, universal standards are essential for a sustainable future. Standards build trust between people. At the end of the G20 Standards Summit, the standard bodies IEC, ITU, ISO and BSN signed a joint declaration on this issue. They call for joint recovery (G20 goal “Recover together, recover stronger”) through international standards and conformity assessment to develop a global framework for the safe and efficient generation of electricity from renewable energy sources.
Through the Global Project Quality Infrastructure (GPQI), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz – BMWK) engages in technical policy dialogues with important trading partners worldwide. Within GPQI, all stakeholders jointly develop politically and economically smart solutions for sustainable international trade. Competition in trade is fairer and more sustainable when there is a common framework of fixed rules and standards. All the efforts should be directed towards building a healthier, greener, and more sustainable future.