The APEC Energy Working Group (EWG) and its sub-fora have been given approval by APEC Senior Officials to intensify its interaction and participation in activities organized by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Responding to a request by the Acting Lead Shepherd of the APEC Energy Working Group, Mr. John Griffiths, APEC Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) in Da Nang agreed that increased interaction between the EWG and IEA will benefit both organizations.
The Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat, Ambassador Tran Trong Toan, said the increased interaction was in line with instructions from APEC Energy Ministers on enhancing the region's long-term approach to energy security.
"The EWG is one of the most active APEC working groups," Ambassador Toan said in his submission to Senior Officials.
"Under its umbrella, there are five EWG experts groups and two Task Forces to tackle crucial issues such as energy data collection and analysis, energy efficiency and conservation, clean fossil energy, new and renewable energy, mining and minerals, and biofuels."
In seeking to expand interaction, Mr. Griffiths highlighted the common interests of both APEC and the IEA.
"The APEC Energy Working Group complements other organisations' initiatives to promote energy security and develop cleaner and more sustainable energy," Mr Griffiths said.
"APEC and the IEA have built the foundation of their engagement through their participation in global initiatives such as the Joint Oil Data Initiative, and their cooperation on projects such as the APEC project: 'Carbon Dioxide Capture and Geological Sequestration Potential of the APEC Region'.
"Other relevant areas of IEA work which overlap with the EWG include attention to clean fossil fuels, energy efficiency, renewable energy, emergency preparedness and sustainable development."
"Our increased levels of engagement and cooperation are timely, with APEC Energy Ministers due to meet in Darwin, Australia, on 29 May 2007, to discuss how to address the region's long-term energy security challenges."Six APEC Economies are members of the IEA (Australia, Canada, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, and the United States of America) and the IEA also has a strong program of cooperation with non-member economies in the region covering ASEAN, Northeast Asia, Central and South Asia, the Russian Federation and Latin America.