The International Energy Agency and six “partner countries” – Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa – on Wednesday for the first time expressed their mutual interest in pursuing a stronger, more enhanced form of multilateral co-operation. The Joint Declaration on Association was issued at the end of the 2013 IEA Ministerial Meeting.
Chaired by Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz, the IEA Ministerial took place on 19-20 November in Paris, bringing together ministers and senior government officials from the 28 IEA member countries as well as Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia and South Africa. Also participating were ministers from the IEA accession nations of Chile and Estonia – the latter of which just cleared the last hurdle toward IEA membership – as well as more than 30 industry leaders from the IEA Energy Business Council, which is made up of top companies active in energy or closely related fields.
The Joint Declaration on Association was agreed by the IEA Secretariat and six of the seven partner countries. The announcement represents the first time that the IEA and partner countries have publicly expressed interest in exploring the mutual benefits of adding a multilateral dimension to their already-strong bilateral co-operation.
“As the global energy map is redrawn, the IEA’s 28 member countries face many of the same energy challenges as key emerging economies, and we all share a common interest in building a secure, sustainable energy future. This is why the IEA has always attached such high importance to working with such dynamic countries outside our membership like Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa,” said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven. “Over the past year we have discussed with these key partner counties how we can build on our existing bilateral ties. The declaration we are unveiling today is a vital first step that can facilitate our shared consideration of new, broader approaches to co-operation, which better reflect today’s global energy challenges and opportunities,” she added.
At the conclusion of the meeting, all 28 IEA member countries also issued a separate statement acknowledging the significant role that the energy sector can play in limiting climate change. In the IEA Member Countries’ Statement on Climate Change, the ministers backed four energy policies proposed by the IEA that would keep climate goals alive without harming economic growth.