Wednesday

18th May 2022

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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

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.

Analysis

EU purchase of US gas serves dual purpose

The EU wants to diversify the sources where it gets its natural gas from - while importing more liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the US could also slightly appease Donald Trump.

Lagarde signals summer interest rate hike

European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde signalled an interest rate increase possibly as early as July, but some experts warn for a repeat of the 2011-2012 debt crisis.

News in Brief

  1. EU to protect Finland and Sweden until they join Nato
  2. Poland backs Hungary over frozen 'rule of law' EU funds
  3. EU to reduce size and scope of Mali military mission
  4. Band members testify about Bataclan attack
  5. German prosecutors want five years for alleged ex-Nazi guard
  6. UN urges Iran to halt execution of Swedish-Iranian academic
  7. EU: legal Russian gas payments possible, but not in roubles
  8. McDonald's to sell up and exit Russia

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic delegation visits Nordic Bridges in Canada
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersClear to proceed - green shipping corridors in the Nordic Region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers agree on international climate commitments
  4. UNESDA - SOFT DRINKS EUROPEEfficient waste collection schemes, closed-loop recycling and access to recycled content are crucial to transition to a circular economy in Europe
  5. UiPathNo digital future for the EU without Intelligent Automation? Online briefing Link

Latest News

  1. Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine - the case for granting EU candidacy
  2. Watchdog calls for tougher curbs on 'problematic' revolving doors
  3. Borrell: EU arms flow to Ukraine amid 'record' Russian losses
  4. UK and EU edge closer to trade war over Northern Ireland
  5. Rescue crew face 20 years jail for saving migrants
  6. Roma refugees from Ukraine face Czech xenophobia
  7. EU not doing enough to help Ukraine, Yellen says
  8. MEPs raise ambition on EU carbon market reform

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us