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Major Goals

Reducing Energy Intensity

In 2007, APEC Leaders agreed to a regional aspirational goal of reducing energy intensity by at least 25 percent by 2030 (with a 2005 base year). However, given the ever-increasing energy demand across the APEC region, Leaders instructed the Energy Working Group to intensify their analysis for an enhanced energy intensity reduction goal. Following EWG review of this goal, and building upon ongoing energy efficiency and conservation work, APEC Leaders agreed in 2011 to substantially increase the goal to a 45 percent reduction of regional aggregate energy intensity by 2035. This announcement complemented the work begun in 2010 when then Japanese Prime Minister Kan and U.S. President Obama announced the Energy Smart Communities Initiative (ESCI).

APEC is on target to achieving this goal. To this end, the EWG has implemented a number of energy efficiency and conservation projects through ESCI under its pillars of smart buildings, smart transport, smart power grids, and smart jobs and education, together with cross-cutting activities on Low Carbon Model Towns and the APEC Knowledge Sharing Platform. As part of ongoing efforts to reduce energy consumption and highlight best energy-efficiency practices and technologies, the EWG also has undertaken a number of Peer Reviews on Energy Efficiency (PREE) that provide economies recommendations for developing energy efficiency goals and action plans, as well as follow-up reviews to measure progress.

Doubling Renewable Energy

At the 2014 APEC Leaders’ Meeting, Leaders endorsed a new aspirational goal to double the share of renewable energy in APEC’s overall energy mix by 2030 (over 2010 levels) and increase cooperation to achieve it. This goal builds upon ongoing efforts within the Energy Working Group to promote capacity building, best practices, and accelerated development and deployment of renewable energy resources and technologies. The EWG also continues to undertake work on the integration of renewables into the grid and grid-related energy storage.

To support the Leader’s doubling goal, the EWG is undertaking new projects to explore the roadmap to achieve this goal, while seeking stronger partnerships with international organizations to share lessons learned and best practices and to undertake modeling and demonstrations. This new goal supports the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative to double global renewable energy by 2030 and increase energy access.

Rationalizing and Phasing Out Inefficient Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Annually since 2009, APEC Leaders have committed to rationalize and phase out inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption and constrain sustainable economic growth. They have recognized that inefficient subsidies come at a high cost to governments, and often fail to provide adequate assistance to the poorer vulnerable populations they are intended to help. In 2011, the Leaders agreed to establish a voluntary reporting mechanism on progress toward this end. APEC’s Energy Working Group is working to implement the Leaders’ commitment through capacity building and supporting voluntary peer reviews.  In 2013, the EWG developed a methodology and adopted Guidelines for conducting voluntary peer reviews of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.

The first peer reviews were completed for Peru in June 2014, New Zealand in March 2015, Chinese Taipei in September 2016, and Vietnam in February 2017. These independent expert peer reviews help assess the impacts of fossil fuel subsidy policies and provide sound technical advice and recommendations for furthering reform. These reviews can also highlight successful strategies and best practices for providing targeted assistance to populations in greatest need, and serve as lessons learned for other APEC economies considering similar reforms.

Low Carbon Development

At the 9th APEC Energy Ministers Meeting in June 2010 in Fukui, Japan, Energy Ministers noted the importance of energy efficiency and cleaner energy supplies as a means to address energy security, economic growth, and lower carbon emissions.  Recognizing the need to improve low carbon policies and increase technical capacities for sustainable development, the Ministers launched the Low Carbon Model Towns (LCMT) Project and instructed the EWG to assemble a specific LCMT Task Force (LCMT-TF).  The Task Force was instructed to develop the concept of the LCMT, conduct feasibility studies for low-carbon communities in urban development plans, and share best practices for making low-carbon communities a reality. LCMT efforts are a vital cross-cutting component of the Energy Smart Communities Initiative (ESCI), combining elements of smart transport, buildings, power grids and jobs.

At Fukui, the Ministers also encouraged economies to set individual goals and action plans for introducing low-emission power sources. Responding to this guidance, the EWG conducts Peer Reviews on Low Carbon Energy Policies (PRLCE) to help promote the development of low carbon energy supply. Together, these and related efforts help provide best low carbon policies, practices and tools among APEC economies to promote the development of sustainable communities and contribute to the reduction of energy intensity across the region.

Enhancing Energy Security

Enhancing domestic and regional energy security is a key component of APEC’s energy agenda, and contributes to the region’s broader economic, social, and environmental goals. Toward this goal, the EWG established the Energy Security Initiative (ESI), endorsed by APEC Leaders in October 2001, which comprises a series of measures to respond to temporary energy supply disruptions and longer-term challenges facing the region’s energy supply.

The EWG is working to enhance energy security in a number of ways to help economies weather short-term energy supply disruptions and secure access to reliable, affordable and cleaner energy supply.  Efforts include developing emergency response mechanisms and improving timely and reliable data to minimize supply disruptions; phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that promote wasteful consumption while providing essential energy services; understanding the energy-water nexus and addressing associated challenges; enhancing the security of energy supply networks; promoting energy efficient and sustainable communities; supporting cleaner energy development; and facilitating energy-related trade and investment to sustain economic growth. Capacity building and sharing best practices in these and other areas will help enhance energy security across the APEC region.