Why energy is important to APEC
APEC Economies consume approximately 60 percent of the world's energy. As the region becomes increasingly industrialized and the population shifts from rural to urban areas, consumption will increase.
The use of fossil fuels to satisfy this demand results in greenhouse gas emission and contributes to climate change. Climate change can cause extreme weather conditions, damage and deplete natural resources and accelerate the spread of disease. This impacts both individuals and economies, at large, with developing economies experiencing the most adverse effects. In addition, climate change is believed to contribute to the increasing number of natural disasters, about 70 percent of which occur in the Asia-Pacific region.
APEC's commitment to improving energy efficiency
In 2007, APEC Leaders proposed a regional goal to reduce energy intensity by at least 25 percent by 2030. In 2011, APEC Leaders set a higher target to reduce energy intensity by at least 45 percent by 2035. To this end, APEC Ministers are determined to improve energy efficiency and support the use of cleaner and more efficient energy technologies by setting individual goals and action plans; collaborating with the International Energy Agency (IEA) to develop energy efficiency indicators; sharing information on energy efficiency policies and measures; and encouraging APEC economies to contribute to and utilize the APEC Energy Standards Information System (ESIS).
How APEC assists economies to meet their climate change goals
Many established APEC Working groups assist economies meet climate change goals.
- The Energy Working Group: informs energy policymakers, draws advice from the business community and industry experts, and collaborates with other international bodies, including the IEA, the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership and the Energy Charter Secretariat. The Energy Trade and Investment Task Force has been established under the EWG to facilitate relevant cooperation in EWG.
- The Asia-Pacific Network for Energy Technology: enables economies to collaborate in energy research in the region, particularly in areas such as clean fossil energy and renewable energy resources.
- The Energy Security Initiative: comprises short-term measures and long-term policy responses to address the challenges facing the region's energy supply.
- The Joint Oil Data Initiative: is a collaborative oil information program undertaken by APEC, OPEC, the IEA, the International Energy Forum and the UN Environment Program.
- The APEC Peer Review Mechanism on Energy Efficiency: serves as a form of accountability while providing and opportunity for economies to share their respective policies, experiences, information and ultimately to improve energy efficiency.
What APEC is doing right now
In November 2011, in the Honolulu Declaration – Toward a Seamless Regional Economy, APEC Leaders determined to:
Promoting Green Growth
We are committed to advancing our shared green growth objectives. We can and must address both the region’s economic and environmental challenges by speeding the transition toward a global low-carbon economy in a way that enhances energy security and creates new sources of economic growth and employment.
We have advanced these objectives significantly in 2011. In 2012, economies will work to develop an APEC list of environmental goods that directly and positively contribute to our green growth and sustainable development objectives, on which we are resolved to reduce by the end of 2015 our applied tariff rates to 5% or less, taking into account economies’ economic circumstances, without prejudice to APEC economies’ positions in the WTO. Economies will also eliminate non-tariff barriers, including local content requirements that distort environmental goods and services trade (see Annex C). Taking these concrete actions will help our businesses and citizens access important environmental technologies at lower costs, which in turn will facilitate their use, contributing significantly to APEC’s sustainable development goals.
We will also take the following steps to promote our green growth goals:
- Rationalize and phase out inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption, while recognizing the importance of providing those in need with essential energy services, and set up a voluntary reporting mechanism on progress, which we will review annually;
- Aspire to reduce APEC's aggregate energy intensity by 45 percent by 2035;
- Promote energy efficiency by taking specific steps related to transport, buildings, power grids, jobs, knowledge sharing, and education in support of energy-smart low-carbon communities;
- Incorporate low-emissions development strategies into our economic growth plans and leverage APEC to push forward this agenda, including through the Low-Carbon Model Town and other projects; and
- Work to implement appropriate measures to prohibit trade in illegally harvested forest products and undertake additional activities in APEC to combat illegal logging and associated trade.