APEC’s Energy Working Group (EWG), launched in 1990, seeks to maximize the energy sector's contribution to the APEC region's economic and social well-being, while mitigating the environmental effects of energy supply and use.

A Strategic Plan for 2019–2023 guides the group’s work. The EWG’s mission is to build the capacity of APEC members to strengthen domestic and regional energy security, as well as lower the carbon intensity of energy supply and use across the region, facilitated by information and data exchanges, joint research and development, and open trade and investment.

Importance of energy cooperation

The APEC region accounts for around 60 percent of world energy demand and includes four of the world's five largest energy users (China; Japan; Russia; and the United States). In 2016, APEC economies consumed the equivalent of over 8,043 million tons of oil worth of energy (Mtoe), and was a net energy importer of over 530 Mtoe.

According to a report—APEC Energy Demand and Supply Outlook (7th Edition), produced by the Asia Pacific Energy Research Centre—the final energy demand of APEC economies by 2050 will increase by 21 percent above 2016 levels. While this highlights the region’s ability to decouple energy demand from economic growth, over 80 percent of the region’s primary energy demand in 2050 will likely be met by fossil fuels, according to the report’s forecast, if APEC economies take a business-as-usual approach. Carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion are expected to rise 6 percent over the period.

The outlook report also shows that APEC is on track in reaching its aspirational goal of reducing energy intensity by 45 percent by 2029—six years ahead of the scheduled year, 2035 (with 2005 as the baseline year). However, APEC will be unable to achieve the goal of doubling the share of renewables in the energy mix by 2030, in a business-as-usual scenario.

Energy Security Initiative

APEC energy cooperation is conducted within the framework of the Energy Security Initiative (ESI), which was first put forward by the EWG in 2000, to prepare members for potential energy supply disruptions and subsequent impacts on economic activities. It covers a range of issues:

  • The Monthly Oil Data Initiative
  • Maritime security
  • Real-time emergency information sharing
  • Oil supply emergency response
  • Energy investment
  • Natural gas trade
  • Nuclear power
  • Energy efficiency
  • Renewable energy
  • Hydrogen
  • Methane hydrates
  • Clean fossil energy.


Four expert groups assist the EWG:

As well as two task forces:

Research bodies

Two subsidiary research bodies further support the EWG:

Partnership with other energy forums

The EWG collaborates with other international energy fora on a broad range of issues, including maritime energy transport security, emergency preparedness, energy efficiency, and clean energy technology. The International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Copper Association (ICA) and the World Energy Council (WEC) have guest status in the EWG.

Many other organizations and stakeholders, such as the Collaborative Labelling and Appliance Standards Program (CLASP) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), are also working with APEC Expert Groups and projects on specific energy challenges.

Last page update: August 2020

Current Activities

At the latest meeting of the Virtual Energy Working Group (EWG59) hosted by Indonesia in August 2020, members reviewed progress towards their goals and charted the way ahead for collaboration, including through APEC’s energy projects.

APEC Energy Ministers last met in Cebu, The Philippines, on 13 October 2015. They issued the Cebu Declaration and Instructions. Ministers emphasized the importance of energy resiliency in the face of the effects of man-made and natural disasters and established a new Energy Working Group Task Force to take this work forward.  Ministers also welcomed the new APEC Initiative for Enhancing the Quality of Electric Power Infrastructure, taking various factors into consideration, including resilience to disasters, lifecycle costs and environmental impacts.  Ministers also instructed officials to implement an APEC Green Energy Finance Initiative in support of the financial sustainability of renewable energy and energy efficiency development in the region. See this news release for more information. 

Sub-Fund for Energy Efficiency and Low-Carbon Measures

Since 2009 an APEC Sub-Fund for Energy Efficiency and Low-Carbon Measures has been maintained with contributions from the Government of Japan. This sub-fund continues to support a wide range of energy-related technical capacity-building projects supporting cooperation between APEC members. The general procedures for applying for APEC project funding are available here

The EWG offers an optional review process for project planners who wish to apply for the Energy Efficiency and Low-Carbon Measures Sub-fund as per this EWG Project Process Map.  The next deadline for submission of draft project concept notes to the relevant EWG Expert Group/Task Force Secretariats (copying the APEC Secretariat) for this optional review will be announced later this year, for Project Session 1 of 2021. It is recommended that project applications be discussed with the EWG representative of the lead economy for the project before submission.

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In 2015, at the 50th meeting of the Energy Working Group, which was held in Hawaii and co-hosted by Japan and the United States, the APEC Energy Working Group Success Stories publication was released, highlighting some of the many successful activities the EWG has undertaken since its first meeting in 1990.

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