Remarks on U.S.-EU Energy Council Before Their Meeting

James B. Steinberg
Deputy Secretary of State
Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Swedish Deputy Prime Minister Maud Olofsson
Benjamin Franklin Room
Washington, DC
November 4, 2009

SECRETARY CHU: Deputy Secretary Steinberg and I are very pleased to be opening this meeting between the United States and EU Energy Council. It is the first such meeting, and we hope that it will be the first of many, in a long series of meetings, that could actual – that would substantially improve both the EU and the United States ability to transition to a clean, sustainable energy economy. These transitions are extremely important, both for our energy security, for our mutual economic development, and of course, for the climate of the world. And so I'm looking very much forward to fruitful discussions today.

And with that, deputy prime minister.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER OLOFSSON: Thank you very much, Secretary Chu. I think from the European side, we believe that the energy council will strengthen our bilateral ties, and by working together we send important signal to the world that EU and U.S. are ready to make things happening when it comes to the climate change. And we want to deliver things in the energy sector in a concrete and very pragmatic way.

I also think it's a strong signal, ahead of what's happening in Copenhagen, that we can do concrete things when it comes to energy. New energy solutions, energy efficiency, and other climate action is needed right now. And I hope that this energy council will deliver good things for changing our climate in a better way and reduce our CO2 emissions. And we are very happy for this bilateral work between U.S. and EU and happy that Secretary Chu is so engaged in our bilateral work.

Thank you.

DEPUTY SECRETARY STEINBERG: Let me just add on behalf of Secretary Clinton that we are grateful to our EU colleagues for this initiative. There are few more important challenges that we all face than these related problems of clean energy and energy security. And one of the things I think we've come to understand is the two are related and that there's an opportunity to achieve a win-win set of solutions on both by working together effectively. And what's important about this council is that it will not only allow us to coordinate energy policies and thus allow us to work together more effectively, but as the deputy prime minister has said, also develop some concrete collaboration on areas like energy security and energy research and development. And so this is the kind of thing that not only will help us on the policy realm, but also produce very concrete results for all of us.

And I think this is an issue which is very timely, important in light not only of Copenhagen but the broad range of issues that both of us are dealing with in terms of our own economies and our own economic development. This is something that President Obama has put an enormous emphasis on in terms of his growth strategy for the United States, and the opportunity to grow, and to grow cleanly, is so critical to our own future.

So the Secretary and all of us here are really looking forward to this intensive engagement that we will launch today.

Okay, I think we'll end this session. And thank you, press, for joining us. And we'll turn over to the working part of the meeting. Thank you.

PRN: 2009/1096