Recognizing that energy and the environment are among the most pressing issues confronting our region, President Obama, in partnership with Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei and President of the Republic of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, today proposed the U.S.-Asia Pacific Comprehensive Partnership for a Sustainable Energy Future. The Partnership will offer a framework for consolidating and expanding energy and environmental cooperation across existing regional forums to advance efforts to ensure affordable, secure, and cleaner energy supplies for the region. Bilateral and multilateral energy and environmental initiatives are flourishing in the Asia Pacific, and the United States, in partnership with Brunei and Indonesia, will help coordinate and enhance these efforts, share best practices, and leverage existing initiatives across the various forums that undertake this work.
The Partnership will build upon the existing energy initiatives in the region, including the ASEAN-United States Energy Cooperation Work Plan, the APEC Energy Working Group, the East Asia Summit Energy Ministers and other forums to expand practical cooperation across the region, promote greater energy connectivity and integration, and encourage collaborative work across these and other forums, including through joint capacity building efforts.
The Partnership will drive investment and facilitate progress on four key regional priorities: renewables and cleaner energy; markets and interconnectivity; the emerging role of natural gas; and sustainable development. We will engage with the private sector as well as partner countries in the region to determine specific projects within these four priority areas. We will work closely with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to enhance their work in the region on these issues. With an estimated $9 trillion needed in investment in electricity alone through 2035 to meet growing demand in the region, there is enormous potential for U.S. industry to play an important role in the region’s energy future.
The United States will provide up to $6 billion to support the Partnership including:
•The Export-Import Bank of the United States will launch a program to make available up to $5 billion in export credit financing to eligible countries in the region over the next four years to increase access to American technology, services and equipment for the implementation of energy infrastructure projects;
•OPIC will provide up to $1 billion in financing for sustainable power and energy infrastructure projects.
•U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) will support programs in partner countries in the areas of power generation, power distribution modernization, assistance with upgrading grid efficiencies to accommodate renewable power, and unconventional gas development.
•The U.S. State Department will oversee a $1 million energy capacity-building fund to support partnership activities via project preparation and technical assistance.
Recognizing the key roles in the coming year of Brunei as it assumes Chair of ASEAN and the East Asia Summit, and of Indonesia as it takes up the Chair of APEC, President Obama looks forward to working closely with both countries as well as the range of partners across the region to advance energy and sustainability cooperation.