EU-US Energy Council Urges Adopting New Climate Agreement in 2015

usa-eu-flag2 April 2014: The fifth EU-US Energy Council, which met in Brussels, Belgium, noted the shared EU-US objectives in evolving energy policies in support of a transition to a low-carbon economy and welcomed President Obama's Climate Action Plan and the work underway on the EU 2030 Climate and Energy Package to address key sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the US and EU.

On post-2020 climate action, the Council urged working towards adopting in 2015 in Paris, “a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force” under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) applicable to all parties. The Council committed to cooperate to address the need for fuel diversification in emerging economies, and stressed the importance of transitioning to competitive, safe and sustainable low-carbon energy systems, notably through further developing and deploying renewable energies, energy efficiency, and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

The Council commended EU efforts at the March European Council meeting to address external energy dependency through further diversification of supplies and routes, increased energy efficiency, smart grids, improved renewable energy integration, and increased production of domestic energy resources.

The Council expressed its support for EU efforts to complete an integrated, common European energy market with the goal of achieving greater energy security and more competitive energy prices, and stressed the importance of developing all energy sources to meet European demand, as well as the need to increase energy efficiency efforts. The Council stressed the importance of phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies and addressing energy access and energy poverty issues in developing countries, while maintaining consistency with transitioning to a low-carbon economy.

The Council also addressed efforts taken in the Energy Council Working Groups on Technology and Policy, in particular work by: the Technology Working Group on smart grids including energy storage, nuclear fusion, and hydrogen and fuel cells; and the Policy Working Group on energy efficiency, nuclear and offshore safety, and unconventional hydrocarbons.

The US proposed the creation of the EU-US Energy Council in 2009. According to the Council's terms of reference, it is to: promote transparent and secure global energy markets; foster policy and regulatory cooperation on efficient and sustainable energy use; and pursue joint research and development on clean energy technologies. [EU-US Joint Press Release] [EU-US Energy Council Website] [US State Department Press Release]