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Fact Sheet: Promoting Energy Security and Clean, Efficient, and Sustainable Energy Development in the APEC Region

November 11, 2014

APEC's member economies account for approximately 60 percent of global energy demand and increasing energy consumption due to growing populations and urbanization poses a real challenge to the region's economic sustainability. In addition, the APEC region is particularly vulnerable to natural disasters and climate change. APEC Leaders agreed to take the following steps to strengthen energy security, promote efficient and sustainable energy development, develop clean energy sources, and reduce the impacts of climate change. All of these efforts support the President's Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon pollution, increase resiliency to climate change impacts, and expand international collaboration to collectively address energy and climate challenges.

•    Endorse an aspirational goal to double the share of renewable energy in APEC's overall energy mix by 2030 and intensify cooperation to achieve it.

•    Reaffirm their commitment to reduce energy intensity of their economies by 45 percent by 2035, with practical steps to increase capacity building and cooperation.

•    Renew their commitment to rationalize and phase out in efficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful energy consumption, including through peer reviews.

•    Improve capacity building and develop emergency response mechanisms to support secure and stable oil and gas supplies and ensure effective response to supply disruptions.

•    Increase resilience of our energy infrastructure to natural disasters and climate change.

Doubling Renewable Energy in APEC's Energy Mix

•    APEC economies are committed to develop clean energy sources, support innovation for renewable energy technologies, and share best practices on making such technologies economically viable. To support the doubling of renewable energy in the APEC energy mix, the U.S.-chaired APEC Energy Working Group (EWG) will pursue a number of new collaborative projects that focus on capacity building and grid integration of renewables.

Reducing Energy Intensity

•    In 2011, APEC Leaders agreed to aspire to a 45 percent reduction of regional aggregate energy intensity of their economies by 2035 from a 2005 baseline. The EWG has implemented, and will initiate, a number of projects to boost energy efficiency in appliances, buildings, data centers, and transport, to review product and system standards that enhance energy efficiency, and to improve energy efficiency technologies and data. The EWG will continue efficiency peer reviews to provide recommendations for goals and action plans.

Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform

•    In 2009, APEC Leaders committed to rationalize and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce wasteful energy consumption that constrains economic growth. In 2011, Leaders established a voluntary reporting mechanism on progress and, in 2013, the EWG developed a methodology for conducting voluntary peer reviews. These reviews are similar to those conducted by members of the G-20. Peru completed and New Zealand initiated peer reviews this year. The Philippines will undertake one next year. APEC welcomes additional participants for peer reviews, which help assess the impact of fossil fuel subsidies and provide recommendations for reform.

Energy-Water Nexus

•    To understand the interdependence between energy and water, the United States, China, and Australia initiated a project to assess the energy-water nexus across the region. This will help APEC economies understand the increasing demands for clean and abundant energy and water posed by growing populations, identify potential vulnerabilities across sectors, and develop ways to use resources more efficiently.

Improving Resilience of our Energy Infrastructure

•    APEC economies are committed to developing emergency response mechanisms and capacity building to address short-term energy supply disruptions. Work has focused on improving the response to oil and gas emergencies in the APEC region and building energy infrastructure resiliency to natural disasters and climate change. APEC economies are working to increase timely, transparent and reliable energy data, build capacity and training for emergency response, and develop microgrid and other technologies that can help prepare for, and respond to, energy supply disruptions.

Free Trade in Environmental Goods

•    APEC economies agreed to develop individual implementation plans to meet the groundbreaking Leaders commitment, made in the 2011 U.S. APEC host year, to reduce tariffs on environmental goods to five percent or less by the end of 2015. In 2012, APEC economies developed a list of 54 environmental goods, such as water treatment filters, gas and wind turbines, and solar water heaters, which would be subject to this tariff reduction commitment. The APEC initiative and the President's Climate Action Plan provided impetus for the United States and 13 other WTO members, including China and a number of other APEC economies, to launch the WTO Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) negotiations in July 2014.

Barack Obama, Fact Sheet: Promoting Energy Security and Clean, Efficient, and Sustainable Energy Development in the APEC Region Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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