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  5. Minister Hagiuda Visits France and Belgium

Minister Hagiuda Visits France and Belgium

March 25, 2022

Mr. Hagiuda Koichi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited France (Paris) and Belgium (Brussels) from Mar. 23 to 25. In Paris, he attended the IEA Ministerial Meeting. In Brussels, he held talks with relevant European Commission ministers and exchanged views with local companies.

1. IEA Ministerial Meeting

Minister Hagiuda attended the IEA Ministerial Meeting on Mar. 23 (Wed.) and 24 (Thu.). 31 member countries and 15 non-member countries attended (some via the internet), and they held discussions on ensuring worldwide energy security given the current situation in Ukraine, promoting clean energy transitions, and more.

Minister Hagiuda stressed two main points, among other things: (1) the importance of countries working together to strengthen energy security, diversify energy sources including renewable energy and nuclear power, and invest in LNG and other areas; and (2) the idea of taking various clean energy transition methods that utilize innovation and various technologies and making them work for each country's situation, in order to work toward both energy security and worldwide carbon neutrality.

The meeting's results, Ministerial Communiqué, and an additional Member Statement have been compiled.
 


The key points from the Ministerial Meeting's outcome document (Ministerial Communiqué) are as follows:
 

(1) Introduction

  • The IEA will promote safe, secure, sustainable, and affordable clean energy transitions in view of the various pathways to global net zero emissions by 2050.
  • In response to the energy price spikes, they resolved to secure sufficient investment in energy in order to ensure a sufficient and affordable energy supply, promote energy access, and accelerate clean energy transitions.

(2) Climate Change

  • They will lead efforts to address climate change in the areas of innovation, energy efficiency, job opportunity creation, economic growth, and more.
  • They will support the development of net zero roadmaps while recognizing particular countries' needs and requirements.

(3) Energy Security

  • They agreed to consider necessary changes to the oil stockholding system and requirement, in light of changing situations.
  • They also agreed on a comprehensive approach on critical minerals that includes options for stockpiling, recycling, alternative materials, and more.
  • They will strengthen the resilience of production and distribution systems and deepen work on electric power security in various ways, including using hydrogen, ammonia, and storage batteries.

(4) Partnerships with Non-Member Countries

  • The IEA will strengthen its partnerships with Association countries.

(5) Strengthening Financial Infrastructure

  • They will strengthen financial infrastructure by reviewing mandatory contributions, seeking flexibility in using voluntary contributions, etc.
The key points from the additional Member Statement are as follows:
  • They condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine and stated that energy should never be used as a way to threaten national security.
  • They offered assistance to Ukraine to address the challenges to its energy security.
  • They welcomed coordinated action within the IEA and across multilateral organizations to enhance the security of global energy supplies.
  • They highlighted the need to accelerate the energy transition and diversify the energy system.
  • To reduce oil and gas dependency, they welcomed the IEA's 10-Point Plan to Cut Oil Use and placed emphasis on demand-side measures, such as energy saving.

Taking advantage of this opportunity, Minister Hagiuda also held bilateral meetings with ministers and others who attended the Ministerial Meeting.

(1) Meeting with IEA Executive Director Birol

The two exchanged views on topics including the importance of responding flexibly to future situations to work toward market stability—given the situation in Ukraine—and promoting clean energy transitions by using a wide range of technologies and energy sources to achieve both energy security and carbon neutrality.
 

(2) Meeting with US Secretary of Energy Granholm

The two exchanged views on collaboration within the IEA, how to appeal to production countries, the role of LNG and more, in order to work toward strengthening energy security while keeping in mind how to respond to the situation in Ukraine.
 

(3) Meeting with UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Kwarteng

The two exchanged views on collaboration within the IEA, how to appeal to production countries, the role of LNG, and more in order to work toward strengthening energy security while keeping in mind how to respond to the situation in Ukraine. They also discussed energy cooperation between Japan and the UK.
 

(4) Meeting with Canadian Minister of Natural Resources Wilkinson

The two exchanged views on cooperation within the IEA, the role of LNG and more, in order to work toward strengthening energy security while keeping in mind how to respond to the situation in Ukraine. They also exchanged views on collaborating on individual projects and in the field of low-carbon technologies.
 

(5) Meeting with Polish Minister of Climate and Environment Moskwa

The two discussed cooperation within the IEA, the direction of energy policies and more, in order to work toward strengthening energy security while keeping in mind how to respond to the situation in Ukraine. They also exchanged views on bilateral collaboration on low-carbon technologies including hydrogen, ammonia, and more.
 

(6) Meeting with Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Energy Demchenkov

The two exchanged views on the current energy situation, future measures to support Ukraine, etc., in light of the Russian invasion.
 

2. Visit to Brussels (25th)

(1) Meeting with Executive Vice President Dombrovskis

In light of the situation in Ukraine, the two leaders confirmed that the G7—including the EU and Japan—would continue working together. They also confirmed that the EU and Japan would work together to deal with issues  in areas such as market distortion measures and forced labor, and would continue to work together towards the realization of data free flow.

(2) European Commissioner for Internal Market Breton

In light of the situation in Ukraine, the two leaders confirmed that strengthening cooperation between like-minded countries is important in order to strengthen the supply chain. They also confirmed the importance of like-minded countries having a mutual understanding of basic, shared values in order to promote DFFT (Data Free Flow with Trust). Furthermore, they confirmed that like-minded countries would cooperate with one another in the digital sector on semiconductors, cybersecurity, and more.

(3) Execute Vice President Timmermans

In light of the situation in Ukraine, the two leaders exchanged views on the importance of energy security, initiatives for clean energy transitions, carbon border adjustments, and a climate club. They also confirmed their intent to work together on various fronts, including utilizing an array of clean technologies such as renewable energy, hydrogen, and ammonia, on the basis of Japan-EU Green Alliance.

(4) Energy Commissioner Simson

In light of the situation in Ukraine, the two leaders exchanged views on the importance of energy security and initiatives for clean energy transitions. They also confirmed their intent to work together on various fronts, including utilizing an array of clean technologies such as renewable energy, hydrogen, and ammonia, on the basis of Japan-EU Green Alliance.
Both sides also confirmed that they would continue discussions toward the conclusion of a Memorandum of Cooperation on Hydrogen between the Government of Japan and the European Commission in 2022.

News Release by the European Commission: URL

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