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Chair’s Statement of the 13th APEC Energy Ministerial Meeting

Seattle, The United States | 16 August 2023

Secretary Granholm_Seattle

All APEC ministers responsible for energy agreed to all paragraphs except for paragraphs 3, 8, and 9.

  1. We, the Energy Ministers of member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), convened in Seattle, United States, on August 15 and 16, 2023, in support of the theme “Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All.” 

  2. Recalling the commitment of APEC leaders in the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040, the Aotearoa Plan of Action, and the Bangkok Goals on Bio-Circular Green Economy, we affirm our commitment to achieve the vision of an open, dynamic, resilient, and peaceful Asia-Pacific community, for the prosperity of all our people and future generations. We reiterate our commitment to promote strong, balanced, secure, sustainable, and inclusive economic growth, including through implementation of the Bangkok Goals. Recognizing the Cebu Declaration adopted by Energy Ministers in 2015, we reaffirm our commitment to promote and collaborate on initiatives toward an energy-resilient APEC region. We recognize that more intensive efforts are needed for economies to accelerate their clean, sustainable, just, affordable, and inclusive energy transitions, consistent with globalnet-zero greenhouse gas emissions / carbon neutrality by or around mid-century, while taking into account the latest scientific developments and different domestic circumstances. In doing so, we endeavor to create decent jobs and ensure energy resilience, access, and security in the region.

  3. As our Leaders highlighted last November, we have witnessed the war in Ukraine further adversely impact the global economy. There was a discussion on the issue. We reiterated our positions as expressed in other fora, including the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly, which, in Resolution No. ES-11/1 dated 2 March 2022, as adopted by majority vote (141 votes for, 5 against, 35 abstentions, 12 absent) deplores in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine and demands its complete and unconditional withdrawal from the territory of Ukraine. Most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy – constraining growth, increasing inflation, disrupting supply chains, heightening energy and food insecurity, and elevating financial stability risks. There were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions. Recognizing that APEC is not the forum to resolve security issues, we acknowledge that security issues can have significant consequences for the global economy.[1]

  4. Recalling our Leaders’ Declaration in 2021 to further integrate action on climate change across relevant APEC workstreams, and in furtherance of the Bangkok Goals on Bio-Circular-Green Economy, we adopted a goal and will continue to pursue new goals for APEC to further strengthen adoption of new and renewable energy, together with balancing and back-up capacity, and other clean energy technologies, including, among others, hydrogen produced from zero and low emission technologies, and its derivatives such as ammonia.In this regard, we welcome the intention to identify best practices for developing and implementing hydrogen efforts in the Asia-Pacific regionin a coherent manner as an area of future work. Finally, we welcome economies’ voluntary contributions to accelerate the energy transition, including to the APEC Sub-Fund on Energy Efficiency, Low Carbon and Energy Resiliency Measures.

  5. We acknowledge that energy transitions will occur through various pathways, reflecting the widely differing circumstances among economies, including our development needs in the region, as we strive to meet our sustainable development and climate goals and commitments. To this end, we aim to support energy transitions by promoting energy security, and ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all, and resilient energy systems including by fostering collaboration, such as voluntary sharing of emerging and available technologies under mutually agreed terms, capacity building, transparent and interoperable regulatory frameworks, and exchange of best practices and experience.

  6. We reaffirm our commitment to improve access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all, recognizing that ensuring such access is a basic human need, including for women and other groups with untapped economic potential, such as Indigenous Peoples as appropriate, people with disabilities, and those from remote and rural communities. We affirm the importance of accelerating energy access in order to enhance energy security and promote strong, balanced, secure, sustainable, and inclusive growth, especially for economies with acute energy access issues. We also acknowledge the importance of energy access for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

  7. We acknowledge the need to increase access to clean energy technologies by removing unnecessary barriers to their deployment, enhancing investment to accelerate early-stage innovation, promoting voluntary technology transfer on mutually agreed terms, expanding investments into relevant workforce and manufacturing programs, and further reducing production costs. We also recognize the importance of enhancing regional interconnectivity to increase access to clean energy. We highlight the crucial need for international collaboration to protect critical energy infrastructure and enhance its resilience to climate change, natural disasters, and other threats.

  8. Nearly all APEC economies supported the following text: Noting that APEC is on track to meet and exceed its current goals for doubling renewable energy from 2010 levels by 2030 and reducing energy intensity 45 percent from 2005 levels by 2035, APEC economies will contribute towards a new collective aspirational goal for the power sector of approximately 70% of electricity generated by carbon free and carbon neutral sources for the APEC region by 2035 in line with different circumstances of each economy including through their existing targets or policy measures, while making every effort to exceed this goal in this time frame. In furtherance of this goal, APEC economies will work individually and collectively on a voluntary basis on integration of variable and fluctuating sources into grids and on increasing grid reliability.

  9. Nearly all APEC economies supported the following text: In order to improve energy security and supply, APEC economies are committed to working to achieve their respective announced pledges that collectively comprise at least a 50% reduction methane emissions in the fossil energy sector from 2020 levels by 2030, while making every effort to work together to exceed this level in this time frame, including on efforts to minimize flaring and venting, to conduct regular leak detection and repair in the oil and gas sector, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the coal sector. In this context, we note the expansion of the work of the Expert Group on Clean Fossil Energy to include cross-cutting issues, such as methane abatement, and efforts to turn wasteful methane emissions into useful energy sources. APEC economies call on APERC to develop capacities relevant to this commitment.

  10. Mindful of the commitment of APEC economies to promote strong, balanced, secure, sustainable, and inclusive growth, we task the Energy Working Group to establish a Just Energy Transition Initiative, the development of which will be determined by the consensus of all APEC economies. This Initiative would promote efforts to accelerate energy transitions within their economies as per their domestic circumstances broadly consistent with the Non-Binding Just Energy Transition Principles for APEC Cooperation endorsed at this Energy Ministerial Meeting, that will pursue positive environmental, economic, and social outcomes while taking into account domestically defined economic growth priorities, meaningfully engage workforces, private sector companies and investors, and communities in an equitable and inclusive way, recognizing the critical importance of decent work and quality jobs as part of any energy transition agenda, and supporting broadly shared prosperity for all, including MSMEs, women and others with untapped economic potential, such as Indigenous Peoples as appropriate. We emphasize that the Just Energy Transition Initiative will both support and build on the implementation of the La Serena Roadmap for Women and Inclusive Growth.

  11. We acknowledge that certain minerals, materials, products, and technologies are critical as inputs for some zero and low-emissionenergy technologies, and clean, sustainable, just, affordable, and inclusive energy transitions, and acknowledge the need for expanded investment, recognizing differing regulatory approaches and contributions to local and regional development.

  12. We welcome the APEC Energy Security Initiative as a framework for supporting energy security goals of APEC member economies to provide access to affordable, reliable, resilient, modern, and sustainable energy, reflecting the widely differing and respective circumstances in each economy, and in line with relevant global and domestic climate commitments.

  13. Finally, we share our gratitude to the City of Seattle and the State of Washington for serving as host to our 13th Energy Ministerial Meeting, and we look forward to our next Ministerial in due course. 

Annex: Non-Binding Just Energy Transition Principles for APEC Cooperation _________________________________________________________________________________

[1] Paragraph 3 of this document, taken from the APEC Bangkok Leaders’ Declaration from November 19, 2022, was agreed to by all member economies except the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation.