The US, Brunei and Indonesia have proposed a new joint framework aimed at securing affordable and cleaner energy suppliers for the Asia Pacific region.
The framework, the US-Asia Pacific Comprehensive Partnership for a Sustainable Energy Future, has been agreed by President Obama, Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
The partnership will focus on driving investment and facilitating progress on four key regional priorities — renewables and cleaner energy; markets and interconnectivity; the emerging role of natural gas; and sustainable development. It will work closely with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to enhance their work in the region on these priorities.
Asia Pacific currently has a number of bilateral and multilateral energy and environmental initiatives. The US, Brunei and Indonesia will aim to coordinate and enhance these efforts, share best practices and leverage existing initiatives across the various organisations which undertake this work.
The partnership will also 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.
In order to help US manufacturers and businesses, the US has agreed to provide up to US$6 billion to support the partnership. The US Ex-Im Bank will launch a programme to make available US$5 billion in export credit financing to eligible countries in the region over the next four years. This will help to increase access to American technology, services and equipment for the implementation of energy projects. The Overseas Private Investment Corp (OPIC), meanwhile, will provide US$1 billion to finance sustainable power and energy infrastructure projects.
Furthermore, the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) will support programmes in partner countries concerned with power generation, the modernisation of power distribution and the upgrading of grid efficiencies to accommodate renewable power. The US State Department will manage a US$1 million energy capacity-building fund to support such partnership activities.