Tuesday

28th Mar 2017

EU says US energy summits will continue

  • From left to right: EU commissioners Maros Sefcovic (energy) and Federica Mogherini (foreign affairs), secretary of state John Kerry, and secretary of energy Ernest Moniz, at the most recent EU-US energy summit (Photo: The Council of the European Union)

The European Union expects to continue annual energy summits with the United States, but sources in and around the US department of energy cannot confirm they will.

“The EU side expects the energy council to continue and will be discussing with US counterparts in due course appropriate timing and agenda topics,” said Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for the European Commission.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

In 2009, US president Barack Obama's first year in office, the two parties established a EU-US energy council, aimed at cooperating on policies, increasing energy security, and working together on clean energy technologies.

The two sides agreed to hold ministerial meetings annually, alternately in the EU and in the US.

The last summit was held on 4 May 2016, in Washington, which means that this year's meeting should take place in Brussels.

No date has been set yet, and it is not even clear whether the US wants to continue the format under its new president, Donald Trump, however.

His nominee for secretary of energy, Rick Perry, gained notoriety because he had previously advocated to abolish the department of energy, and because he was unable to name it when asked during a presidential debate in 2011.

He received broad support - 16 votes in favour against seven against - in the relevant senate committee in January, but still needs to be confirmed by the full chamber.

He told senators he regretted calling for its abolition.

He also said he believed “the climate is changing” and that “some” of it is caused by man-made activity.

Trump previously called climate change a “hoax”, and threatened to pull out of the Paris climate treaty.

No updates, no idea

A source in the department of energy told EUobserver that they have “no updates on this particularly issue at this time”.

Neither did John Deutch, who was chair of the advisory board of the secretary of energy under Perry's predecessor.

“I have no idea which past practices secretary Perry will choose to continue when he becomes secretary of energy,” he told this website.

Brussels-based Cosimo Avesani said he thought the cooperation would continue.

Avesani works with the Trans-Atlantic Business Council, a business association which calls itself “a long-term stakeholder in the EU-US energy council discussions”.

He said that normally “at least two months are needed to prepare” such summits, which makes it unlikely that the summit will be held before the summer.

Since 2009, the summits were held every year, except in 2015.

New EU-US energy council to be set up early November

The EU and the US will set up a joint energy council at ministerial and commissioner level to streamline policy initiatives relating to green technologies, research and energy security on both sides of the Atlantic, a US official told this website.

EU doing well in global energy ranking

The majority of countries in the top-20 of the Global Energy Architecture Performance Index are members of the European Union, with Switzerland leading the list.

News in Brief

  1. Uber pulls out of Denmark over new taxi-regulation
  2. EU court validates sanctions on Russia's Rosneft
  3. Luxembourg to team up with Ireland in Apple tax appeal
  4. EU majority against GM crops, but not enough to block them
  5. Turkish referendum voting starts in Europe
  6. Le Pen says she lacks election funds
  7. UN dinner for Cyprus leaders to restart stalled peace talks
  8. Nato moves summit forward so US can attend

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. The Idealist QuarterlyCan Progressive Stories Survive Our Post-Truth Era? After-Work Discussion on 6 April
  2. ACCAG20 Citizens Want 'Big Picture' Tax Policymaking, According to Global Survey
  3. Belgrade Security ForumCall for Papers: European Union as a Global Crisis Manager - Deadline 30 April
  4. European Gaming & Betting Association60 Years Rome Treaty – 60 Years Building an Internal Market
  5. Malta EU 2017New EU Rules to Prevent Terrorism and Give More Rights to Victims Approved
  6. European Jewish Congress"Extremists Still Have Ability and Motivation to Murder in Europe" Says EJC President
  7. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAudiovisual Media Services Directive to Exclude Minors from Gambling Ads
  8. ILGA-EuropeTime for a Reality Check on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  9. UNICEFHuman Cost to Refugee and Migrant Children Mounts Up One Year After EU-Turkey Deal
  10. Malta EU 2017Council Adopts New Rules to Improve Safety of Medical Devices
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Research: How to Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy
  12. Party of European SocialistsWe Must Renew Europe for All Europeans