ASEM countries collectively represent over 60% of global population and global GDP. ASEM grouping includes countries whose energy consumption is foreseen to grow dramatically over the coming years. This will add pressure on increasingly strained international energy markets.
ASEM partners share many of the concerns about access to energy resources. At the 2006 ASEM Summit in Helsinki, energy was identified alongside climate change among the major topics for future dialogue. Moreover, a multilateral dialogue would complement and reinforce bilateral dialogues under way with important Asian partners.
Acknowledging the importance of energy security and the sustainable use of energy resources in ASEM countries, the European Commission will host the first dedicated ASEM ministerial conference on energy security on 30 March 2009. The aim will be to explore an agenda for future dialogue and possible opportunities for practical cooperation in ASEM.
To discuss and identify, where possible, convergent positions on important areas of common interest in the energy sector such as:
Energy security per se, including the transparency and effective functioning of global energy markets and the issue of nuclear safety;Energy investments, in particular in strengthening open, non-discriminatory and stable legal conditions conducive to new investments both upstream and downstream;
- Opportunities and methods of promoting sustainable energy diversification, including renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and energy savings;
- Energy technology co-operation through technology transfer, R&D and capacity building – regional perspective (including near-zero emissions power generation from fossil fuels);
- Trade-related energy issues.