The text of the following statement was released by the Government of the United States of America and European Union.
- The tenth United States – European Union (EU) Energy Council (“Council”) met today in Brussels, chaired by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy David M. Turk, EU High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell Fontelles and European Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson. Minister Tobias Billström of the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs represented the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
- The U.S.-EU Energy Council is the lead transatlantic coordination forum on strategic energy issues for policy exchange and coordination at political and technical levels. Transatlantic energy cooperation continues to contribute to the stability and transparency of global energy markets by promoting energy diversification and security, endorsing energy efficiency measures, developing technologies contributing to the transition towards net zero emissions by 2050, and through research, innovation, aligned policies, and business cooperation. Accelerating the energy transition, reducing dependence on fossil fuels, and reducing energy consumption are key to strengthening energy security and countering attempts to weaponize energy.
- The United States and the EU are strategic partners who remain committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050, and working jointly with the global community to keep a 1.5 degrees Celsius limit in global temperature rise within reach, while pursuing a just and inclusive energy transition to climate neutrality.
- The Council recognized the unprecedented intensification of cooperation, coordination, and exchanges between the two sides in the context of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine since the last Ministerial Meeting of the U.S.-EU Energy Council on February 7, 2022. It also recognized the critical role of the Joint Energy Security Task Force set up in March 2022 by Presidents Biden and von der Leyen with the aim of supporting the rapid elimination of the EU’s reliance on Russian fossil fuels by diversifying its natural gas supplies, taking steps to minimize the sector’s climate impact, and reducing the overall demand for natural gas.
Responding to Russia’s Threats to Global Energy Security
- The Council reiterated its condemnation in the strongest possible terms of Russia’s illegal, unprovoked, and unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine, which has brought immense suffering and destruction upon Ukraine and its people. The United States and the EU demand that the Russian Federation withdraw all its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. Russia’s war has also triggered a global food and energy security crisis, with sharp increases in prices, market volatility and a disproportionate impact on the developing world and vulnerable populations. Russia’s actions, including massive attacks on critical infrastructure, have put unprecedented strain on the safety and functioning of Ukraine’s energy systems, including the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, leaving millions of people without electricity, heating, and water, and undermining nuclear safety and security.
- The Council reiterated that competitive, liquid, and transparent global energy markets remain critical to ensuring a reliable, sustainable, affordable, and secure energy supply for Europe to serve the transition to climate neutrality. The United States and the EU recognize the growing cyber and physical threats to energy infrastructure and plan to continue related cooperation, including in the context of the synchronization of the Baltic States’ electricity networks with the Continental European Network. The United States and the EU intend to continue to coordinate bilateral and multilateral responses to keep the global energy markets stable and support the energy transition required to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. The two sides reiterated their strong commitment to directly confront, with adequate measures, all efforts to further destabilize the global energy situation and to circumvent sanctions.
Bolstering Energy Security in Ukraine and Moldova
- The Council reaffirmed that the future of Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova (hereafter Moldova), and their citizens lies within the European Union and would continue to support Ukraine’s and Moldova’s further integration with the EU. Following the successful synchronization of Ukraine and Moldova with the EU electricity grid, the Council intends to continue to support Ukraine’s rapid recovery and reconstruction, and support both Ukraine and Moldova by assisting with their long-term economic and clean energy transition. The Council continues to support both countries’ integration with the EU across all energy sectors, including through accelerating the development of energy infrastructure and interconnections. The Council welcomed Ukraine’s and Moldova’s reform efforts towards meeting the objectives underpinning their candidate status for EU membership, and encouraged the countries to continue on this path, notably by ensuring that institutions in the energy sector are transparent, robust, and independent.
- The United States, the EU and its Member States intend to continue providing emergency energy assistance to Ukraine via the support fora set up in 2022, including the G7+ coordination forum and the International Advisory Energy Council for Ukraine, and to other heavily affected countries in the region such as Moldova. The Council acknowledged the important contribution of the Ukraine Energy Support Fund set up by the Energy Community Secretariat and the EU Civil Protection Mechanism coordinated by the European Commission in providing effective and targeted support to counteract attacks against critical energy infrastructure.
- The Council condemned Russia’s dangerous actions at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant and underlined its full support for the International Atomic Energy Agency’s work to apply safeguards to assist Ukraine in its effort to manage nuclear safety and security at its nuclear facilities, including its efforts to date to establish a nuclear safety and security protection zone at the Zaporizhzhya power plant. The United States and the EU strongly call on Russia to withdraw its personnel and military equipment from the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant and return its full control to its rightful owner, Ukraine.
- The Council intends to intensify cooperation to reduce dependency on Russia for nuclear materials and fuel cycle services, and supports ongoing efforts by affected EU Member States to diversify nuclear fuel supplies, as appropriate.
Promoting Energy Security Through an Accelerated Energy Transition
- In its efforts to strengthen energy security while accelerating the global energy transition, the Council intends to continue coordinating transatlantic policy actions in their respective neighboring regions.
- The United States and the EU intend to coordinate their support for transparent, integrated, and competitive energy markets in the Western Balkans, in line with the EU enlargement policy, as well as with the climate objectives and obligations under the Energy Community Treaty. The Council reaffirmed that both sides intend to deepen their cooperation to support regional integration and investments in the development of energy infrastructure to achieve climate neutrality in the Western Balkans, which for the EU will notably include speeding up the uptake of renewables, in view of European integration, and the phasing out of dependency on Russian gas imports as soon as possible.
- The Council recognized the importance of energy relations and notably the role of gas and renewable energy supplies to the EU from and through regions such as the South Caucasus, Black Sea, Eastern Mediterranean, and North Africa. The pivotal role of reliable energy partners in these regions calls for mutually beneficial cooperation on security of energy supplies as well as enhanced cooperation on critical infrastructure.
Energy Policy, Technology, and Innovation
- In light of current pressures caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine, the Council underlined that energy savings, energy efficiency, and the speedy deployment of renewables are key pillars of energy transition. In this regard, the Council underlined the importance of safe and sustainable low-carbon technologies.
- The Council welcomed the organization of a High-Level Business to Business Forum on Offshore Wind in April 2022 and the publication of its report. Further, the Council also welcomed a Business Roundtable that took place on April 3, which was aimed at facilitating trade and the deployment in the United States and the EU, of energy savings and renewables technology solutions.
- The United States and the EU also intend to continue working together to foster energy investments aiding the transition towards climate neutrality in a transparent and mutually reinforcing manner avoiding zero-sum competition at the transatlantic level and around the globe. The Council noted the vital importance of diversifying and securing supply chains for critical minerals and raw materials necessary for the energy transition to net-zero emissions by 2050, and reinforced the value of U.S.-EU collaboration in fora such as the Minerals Security Partnership, the Conference on Critical Materials and Minerals, and the International Energy Agency Critical Minerals Working Party. The Council invited its Energy Policy Working Group to explore possible further cooperation areas in view of achieving shared energy and climate objectives.
- The Council noted the role that nuclear power can play in decarbonizing energy systems in countries that have decided or will decide to rely on nuclear energy. The United States and the EU decided to co-organize a High-Level Small Modular Reactors (SMR) Forum later this year on transatlantic cooperation in the field of SMRs and other advanced nuclear reactors.
- The Council intends to continue advancing the reduction of global methane emissions in line with the Global Methane Pledge and the Joint Declaration from Energy Importers and Exporters on Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Fossil Fuels. The Council intends to promote domestic and international measures for reinforced monitoring, reporting, and verification, as well as transparency, for methane emissions data in the fossil energy sector, such as through the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership 2.0 (OGMP 2.0) standard and the development of a common tool for life cycle analysis (LCA) of methane emissions for hydrocarbon suppliers and purchasers. Building upon the Joint Declaration, the Council intends to work with Joint Declaration members and other countries to develop an internationally aligned approach for transparent measurement, monitoring, reporting, and verification for methane and carbon dioxide emissions across the fossil energy value chain to improve the accuracy, availability, and transparency of emissions data at cargo, portfolio, operator, jurisdiction and basin-level. The Council recognized the International Methane Emissions Observatory as a key independent methane emissions data collector and verifier, and the Council recognized the need to develop effective global schemes to limit leakage, venting, and flaring, such as the mutually beneficial You Collect We Buy. The Council acknowledged the joint progress made on developing international standards for leak detection and quantification of methane emissions. In this respect, the Council welcomes the agreement for cooperation between the two first-of-a-kind centers of excellence, the TotalEnergies Anomaly Detection Initiatives (TADI) of the Pôle d’Etudes et de Recherche de Lacq and the Colorado State University Methane Emission Technology Evaluation Center (METEC). The Council noted its support of other centers of expertise that may wish to join TADI and METEC in their initiative.
- The Council endorsed the organization of joint workshops in 2023 on just transition, energy poverty, and economic and workforce development assistance for communities in transition and communities experiencing environmental hazard exposure.
- Building on existing dialogues and frameworks, the Council endorsed the intention of both sides to step up research and innovation cooperation in the fields of i) fusion research by finalizing the terms of a new Model Project Agreement and defining the multi-year work plan, and ii) mutual modelling capabilities for climate-neutrality transition pathways by increasing the compatibility and inter-comparability of respective data and models.
- The Council acknowledged progress on multilateral initiatives and intends to continue discussing strategic topics and coordinating positions ahead of major multilateral events. The strong U.S.-EU relationship has paved the way for more ambitious global climate and energy actions, including at international fora such as climate COPs, G7, G20, International Energy Agency, Clean Energy Ministerial, Mission Innovation, the Partnership for Transatlantic Energy and Climate Cooperation (P-TECC), International Renewable Energy Agency, including through advancing “Just Energy Transition Partnerships” with third countries, and in fusion through both the ITER international agreement and EURATOM research. The United States and the EU intend to intensify joint work towards making energy efficiency a global priority.