APEC Energy Ministers issued the St Petersburg Declaration on energy security today after they concluded a two-day meeting here to discuss the challenges and strategic choices for energy security in the Asia-Pacific region.
The St Petersburg Declaration provides an updated framework for APEC member economies to cooperatively address regional and global energy challenges, including a list of specific instructions from APEC Energy Ministers to help keep them on the path to achieving APEC’s secure and sustainable energy market growth goals.
Chaired by Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, he opened the meeting by explaining that international energy is an increasingly urgent issue in the Asia-Pacific given the region’s rising fuel demands and need to use and manage limited resources more efficiently.
“Modern energy saving technology, environmentally clean technologies have become important,” said Novak. “We include nuclear power plants in this list and we will also develop alternative energy sources.”
“An important condition for sustainable development of the energy industry is sufficient investment in relevant infrastructure projects,” he added. “To attract direct investment we need to establish a favourable investment environment.”
“The basis for international energy security should be an international legal framework on cooperation in the energy sector,” Novak explained. “We hope that today’s meeting will help to define the region’s key issues and ways to address them.”
Minister Novak told APEC ministers to continue to embrace constructive cooperation and suggested that member economies leverage their domestic advantages; complement one another’s respective efforts; and proceed to find ‘win-win’ solutions.
APEC Secretariat Executive Director, Ambassador Muhamad Noor, meanwhile updated ministers on the group’s work on energy security and cooperation for the region’s economic development.
“Considering that APEC members together account for 60 percent of global energy demand, and include four of the world’s largest energy consumers, it is critical that our 21 member economies make real progress and set a renewed agenda going forward,” Noor explained.
“Fluctuations in the price of oil coupled with the occurrence of natural disasters and increasing greenhouse gas emissions have highlighted how critical the issues of energy security and energy efficiency are to economic prosperity and environmental sustainability in the Asia-Pacific region,” he concluded.
In Sunday’s APEC Public – Private Roundtable on Energy Security, ministers, along with private sector stakeholders, agreed that issues such as fluctuating energy commodities prices, disruptions to the sector caused by natural disasters and increasing greenhouse gas emissions globally highlight the critical link between energy efficiency and security and the APEC region’s economic prosperity and environmental protection.
The results of the 10th APEC Energy Ministers’ Meeting will be reported during the 2012 APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Vladivostok on 8-9 September.