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  5. METI State Minister Matsumoto Attends the 2019 IEA Ministerial Meeting

METI State Minister Matsumoto Attends the 2019 IEA Ministerial Meeting

December 9, 2019

Mr. Matsumoto Yohei, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, attended the 2019 International Energy Agency (IEA) Ministerial Meeting and discussed issues concerning (i) bolstering of energy security, (ii) building of sustainable energy systems, and (iii) strengthening of collaboration with IEA Association countries (commencement of negotiations with India). The outcome was compiled into the Ministerial Communique for the first time in ten years. State Minister Matsumoto also had meetings with Dr. Fatih Birol, IEA Executive Director, Mr. Michał Kurtyka, Minister of Climate, Poland, who served as the chair of the IEA Ministerial Meeting; Mr. Ted Garrish, Assistant Secretary for International Affairs at the US Energy Department, United States, and others, and agreed to further strengthen cooperative relationships in the energy sector.

1. IEA Ministerial Meeting

On December 5 (Thur.) and 6 (Fri.), 2019, State Minister Matsumoto attended the 2019 IEA Ministerial Meeting and other related meetings. Focusing on the theme of "Building the Future of Energy," the meeting brought together 30 member countries and nine non-member countries, and participants held discussions on global energy security, building of sustainable and innovative energy systems, modernization of the IEA, and other issues.

Key points of the Ministerial Communique compiled at the latest Ministerial Meeting are as follows.

  1. Regarding the bolstering of energy security, ministers reaffirmed that the IEA's oil stockholding obligation is critical, in consideration of the recent incidents of supply disruptions. Ministers requested that the IEA promote close collaboration with non-member countries and further contribute to enhancing gas and electricity security.
  2. Regarding the building of sustainable energy systems, ministers expect that the IEA will continuously play a central role, and agreed to further enhance its roles in promoting innovation, energy efficiency and use of renewables toward global clean energy transitions.
  3. Regarding the strengthening of collaboration with IEA Association countries, under a framework - a "Strategic Partnership" - for the further strengthening of institutional ties, including potential paths to eventual IEA membership, ministers instructed the IEA to commence negotiations with India, which has already expressed its interest.

In particular, key points of Japan's statement are as follows.

  1. Toward the achievement of transitions to cleaner energy, it is necessary to employ all possible options in order to fill the gap between the reality and the ideal to achieve the goal to hold global average temperature increase to below 2°C above preindustrial levels. Japan gives full endorsement to the IEA's basic principles placing importance on innovation of all energy sources and all technologies.
  2. Dr. Birol, IEA Executive Director, announced that the Ministerial Meeting on Clean Energy Transitions will be held next spring. Japan welcomes and fully supports the holding of the meeting.
  3. This year, Japan experienced large-scale blackouts due to typhoons. Japan introduced initiatives, under increasingly complicated and diversified circumstances concerning energy security. Such initiatives are to bolster energy security for the oil, gas, and electricity sectors, including Japan's personnel and financial assistance for expanding LNG markets centered on Asia, where rapid growth is expected. Additionally, Japan strongly advocated the necessity for the world as a whole to make efforts to bolster energy security.
  4. At this year's G-20 meeting, for which Japan acted as the chair, member countries shared the concept of a "virtuous cycle of environment and growth" and the three pillars of actions to achieve the concept: (i) promotion of innovation, (ii) green finance, and (iii) business-driven international growth. Japan emphasized the importance of international collaboration for promoting innovation in all energy sectors, including hydrogen, CCUS (carbon capture, utilization and storage)/carbon recycling and nuclear power, in which Japan in particular has led the world.
  5. Regarding collaboration with IEA Association countries, Japan considers it significant that India, where energy demand is expected to increase rapidly from now on, is to strengthen relationships with the IEA in a manner to contribute to further bolstering global energy security. Japan expressed its intention to support the Secretariat's proposals.

Moreover, State Minister Matsumoto attended side events concerning hydrogen and CCUS held prior to the 2019 IEA Ministerial Meeting, introduced outcomes of the Hydrogen Energy Ministerial Meeting and the International Conference on Carbon Recycling held this September, and had discussions for promoting further dissemination.

2. Meetings with ministers and officials of participating countries and organizations

(1) Meeting with Mr. Michał Kurtyka, Minister of Climate, Poland

State Minister Matsumoto paid his respects to Mr. Kurtyka for the contribution of Poland as the chair of the IEA Ministerial Meeting, and exchanged opinions regarding the strengthening of bilateral cooperation in the energy sector, including that for clean energy transitions.

(2) Meeting with Mr. Ted Garrish, Assistant Secretary for International Affairs at the US Energy Department, United States

Both parties reconfirmed their cooperative relationships in the energy sector and agreed to further enhance such relationships toward the G-7 and G-20 meetings next year.

(3) Meeting with Mr. João Galamba, Secretary of State for Energy, Portugal

Both parties exchanged opinions regarding future bilateral cooperation in efforts concerning hydrogen fuel cells and further utilization of hydrogen and fuel cells.

(4) Meeting with Dr. Fatih Birol, IEA Executive Director

Both parties agreed to further strengthen cooperative relationships in the energy sector.

In addition to the meetings above, State Minister Matsumoto had standing-room talks with ministers and officials of India, Australia, the EU and other participating countries and organizations. The meetings deepened communications concerning bilateral energy cooperation and the importance of innovation regarding hydrogen and carbon recycling, etc., and helped further strengthen relationships.

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