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Joint Press Statement Highlights EU-Australia Commitment to Energy Transformation

In a landmark series of bilateral meetings, the European Union Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, and the Australian Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen, convened to reinforce and fortify the longstanding ties between the European Union (EU) and Australia concerning energy and climate change. The discussions centered on bolstering cooperation to advance global clean energy initiatives and navigate the challenges posed by climate change. The outcome of these deliberations culminated in a Joint Press Statement on EU-Australia Energy Relations, outlining shared commitments, strategies, and collaborative efforts to accelerate the transition to a sustainable energy future.

Both the EU and Australia expressed an unwavering dedication to international collaboration, particularly in accelerating the global clean energy transformation. A pivotal aspect of this transformation is the assurance of global supply chains, particularly in critical minerals, which both parties aim to bolster through the establishment of a bilateral strategic partnership. This strategic alignment underscores the mutual recognition of the imperative to secure and sustain critical resources necessary for the transition towards cleaner energy sources. Furthermore, the joint statement highlights a commitment to a just energy transition, emphasizing the meaningful participation of Indigenous Peoples, as well as other vulnerable groups such as women and young people. The EU and Australia underscored the importance of ensuring inclusivity and equity in the transition process, safeguarding the interests of all stakeholders and mitigating disparities exacerbated by climate change and economic disadvantage.

Of significant note is the mutual acknowledgment of the broad consensus in favour of commitments in energy and resources during negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Both parties anticipate that the finalized FTA will provide substantial impetus to trade and investments in crucial sectors, thereby facilitating and reinforcing their respective clean energy transitions.

Key areas of collaboration highlighted in the statement include:

  1. Electricity and Energy Efficiency: Both the EU and Australia commit to ambitious targets for decarbonizing their electricity systems, with an emphasis on the deployment of renewable energy sources. Measures to enhance grid infrastructure resilience and flexibility are deemed essential for meeting these targets effectively.
  2. Hydrogen: Recognizing the pivotal role of renewable hydrogen in the clean energy transition, the EU and Australia pledge support for its rapid development and establishment of reliable supply chains. Both parties express intent to collaborate on hydrogen production and utilization, particularly in sectors where direct electrification presents challenges.
  3. Social Dimensions of the Energy Transformation: Ensuring a just transition is paramount, with a focus on the meaningful participation of Indigenous Peoples and vulnerable groups. Both the EU and Australia emphasize community engagement and opportunities for economic transformation that align with environmental priorities.
  4. Industrial Carbon Management: Acknowledging the complementary role of industrial carbon management in emissions reduction, both parties commit to further cooperation in policy and technology sharing to advance carbon capture and storage initiatives.
  5. Critical Minerals: Recognizing the critical importance of secure and sustainable critical mineral supply chains, the EU and Australia intend to establish a bilateral strategic partnership and continue close cooperation in relevant international forums.
  6. Global LNG Markets: Cooperation on international energy security remains a priority, with a focus on ensuring stable LNG markets to enhance global energy security, particularly for middle-income countries in the Indo-Pacific region.
  7. Methane Emissions Abatement: Both parties reaffirm their commitment to mitigating methaane emissions in the energy sector, highlighting regulatory efforts and industry participation in methane reduction initiatives.
  8. Trade and Clean Energy Transition: The forthcoming Free Trade Agreement is anticipated to significantly boost trade and investments in the energy and resources sectors, facilitating the transition to clean energy economies for both the EU and Australia.

The Joint Press Statement on EU-Australia Energy Relations underscores a shared commitment to ambitious climate action, sustainable energy development, and global cooperation. By aligning efforts and priorities, the EU and Australia aim to catalyze meaningful progress towards a cleaner, more sustainable future for generations to come.