Speak Up Energy

The EU’s special representative for Central Asia, Ambassador Pierre Morel, gave a damning assessment of Europe’s energy diplomacy, saying there is currently “no real European external policy on energy”. “We have made progress on the internal market and on the environment,” Morel said, deploring what he called a “paradox” in that the same has not happened for external energy policy.Turning to the Caspian, Morel pointed out that the “emerging countries” in the region (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and
Turkmenistan) want to make the most of the new clout provided by their fossil fuel resources and are pursuing policies to forge partnerships “in every direction”.”They won’t let themselves be put under supervision again,” Morel said in reference to the region’s ex-Soviet republics, adding that Central Asia should be differentiated from Russia as such. He hence pleaded for a specific approach to Central Asia whereby the basic assumption would be that each actor needs the other. “Russia needs Central Asia’s resources,” Morel insisted.

Tatsudo Masuda, a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, gave an overview of the situation regarding the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline, which will bring Russian oil to China, Japan and South Korea when it opens, scheduled for late 2008.Referring to the diplomatic tensions sparked between Tokyo and Beijing over the planned pipeline, Masuda highlighted the “importance of the EU example for Asia,” saying that the EU’s “ideal example of collaboration” could be applied to
Asia as well “if tailor-made”.Masuda also referred to positive developments, citing the Energy Partnership launched in June 2004 between the ASEAN nations and China, Japan and South Korea (ASEAN+3 Energy Partnership).He concluded by pointing to climate change as a challenge which “offers unprecedented opportunities for cooperation”, saying the EU and Japan should be “top runners” in moving towards a low-carbon economy. “The discussion between Gazprom and the EU is not as important as climate change,” Masuda said, adding that it was “only a matter of time” before Japan joins the EU Emissions Trading Scheme for greenhouse gases.

From Eur Activ

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