Low Carbon Paths to Energy Security: Cooperative Energy Solutions for a Sustainable APEC

Fukui, Japan, 18 June 2010
  • Opening Remarks by Ambassador Muhamad Noor, Executive Director, APEC Secretariat
Chairs, Ministers, Participants,

This meeting is taking place at a very important time. Recent fluctuations in oil prices and weather-driven calamities have highlighted how critical the issues of energy security and energy efficiency are to economic prosperity and environmental sustainability in the Asia-Pacific region.

It is therefore timely that APEC members - which together account for 60 percent of global energy demand and include the world's four largest energy consumers - should be gathering here in Fukui today and considering these issues again.

I would like to thank Fukui Prefecture for hosting this meeting and for the excellent arrangements that have been put in place.

Energy cooperation has long been a key priority for APEC - to the extent that, this year, APEC's Energy Working Group celebrates its twentieth anniversary.

Hence for twenty years already, APEC has been contributing to energy security and emergency preparedness; through effective schemes such as the Energy Security Initiative and the Joint Oil Data Initiative.

In recent years, as environmental considerations have grown in prominence, APEC's mandate has expanded to encompass energy use and climate change.

This work was reinforced at the last Energy Ministerial Meeting in Darwin in May 2007. And it was further progressed in the 2007 Sydney APEC Leaders' Declaration on Climate Change, Energy Security and Clean Development. Ministers will no doubt recall that the Declaration lays out an APEC Action Agenda to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sets specific targets such as an APEC-wide reduction in energy intensity of at least 25 percent by 2030.

Since then, APEC has been making good progress in transforming these policy directions into practical action, through initiatives such as the Asia-Pacific Network for Energy Technology.

In addition, APEC's Energy Working Group has been spearheading many capacity building projects that focus on issues such as the use of smart grids, efficient building design, biofuel development and carbon sequestration.

APEC is now embarking on developing a Growth Strategy of the Asia-Pacific region. Needless to say, energy will continue to play a critical role in leading the new strategy as Minister Naoshima has just underscored.

We look forward to a fruitful Energy Ministerial Meeting today; and to the continued implementation of a visionary and practical energy agenda by APEC.

Thank you.