Remarks With Australian Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson After Their Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Intercontinental Hotel
Adelaide, Australia
November 15, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first I want to thank the Minister for meeting with me and my team this afternoon. We have so many areas of cooperation between our two countries, and we want to deepen the already ongoing discussions over resources and energy, and Minister Ferguson has been a real leader in not only moving Australia's energy and resources agenda forward, but working with the United States and other countries on global norms and standards. And we have agreed today to launch a new dialogue between our two governments focused on energy security and supply, boosting bilateral investment and regional cooperation, developing clean energy technologies, and promoting best practices in the energy sector, including in human rights and an area that I know the Minister is very involved in, skills training and education and development for those in the energy industries and the communities that they come from.

I want to welcome Australia's announcement. It will be participating in what is known as Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights. That is an initiative that brings together governments, companies and NGOs to ensure that energy production is safe, secure, and responsible. So this new dialogue will serve as a launch pad for greater engagement not only between us, but in the region, something that we both are committed to doing in working with partners across the Asia Pacific. And again, I want to thank the Minister for his leadership and for working with me to launch this dialogue, which we very much look forward to.

MINISTER FERGUSON: Well, thanks very much. We've had a very good discussion this afternoon. First and importantly am I excited about the success of American investment and the development of our petroleum and energy sector and also the fact that there are a range of partnerships in particular between Australia and U.S. companies also cooperating in areas beyond Australia. We've had an ongoing discussion at a lower level in terms of the geopolitical debate over energy with Secretary Clinton's Ambassador Pascual. It's a very important position established by the Secretary. Clearly, we have major responsibilities in the Asia region from an energy and security point of view, our focus on important markets, how we cooperate with countries such as Indonesia, the development of their resources, and also being a reliable supplier of energy to places such as Japan, Korea, and China, just to name a few.

We're also going to look to further strengthen our cooperation on renewables – clean energy, which is important to the U.S. and to Australia. Our focus is on innovation, how we partner both at a research level and at an investment level, develop export opportunities for countries that are not as energy rich as Australia and the United States. So I look forward to a strengthening of this dialogue at a more formal level and the opportunities to especially work together in the Asia Pacific region. Thanks very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Minister. Thank you very much.

PRN: 2012/ T74-08