Fourth Hemispheric Energy Ministers Meeting
New Orleans, Louisiana

July 30, 1999

Joint Statement on Clean Development and Use of Energy

Ministers from States of the Hemisphere met in New Orleans on July 30, 1999, to continue a cooperative effort launched in 1994 aimed at creating an energy infrastructure for the region that meets the economic and environmental goals of the 21st century.

The Ministers acknowledged and reconfirmed previous commitments and initiatives, including:

The Miami Summit of the Americas of December 1994, where Heads of State and Government agreed to a Declaration of Principles and Action Plan in which they committed to cooperate on ways to use the energy sector to promote sustainable economic growth and recognized that sustainable energy development and use promote economic development and address environmental concerns. The Heads of State and Government agreed to create the Partnership for Sustainable Energy Use and said that governments and the private sector should promote increased access to reliable, clean and least cost energy services;

The Santa Cruz Meeting of Energy Ministers of July 1996, where the Ministers made the commitment to sustainable development and conservation of our environment for present and future generations. The Ministers agreed that present and future consumption of energy requires consideration of clean and efficient energy sources to streamline sustainable development at a hemispheric level, including the implementation of technology for clean energy, that minimizes environmental damage for present and future generations;

The Santa Cruz Sustainable Development Summit of December 1996, which recognized that one of the primary challenges to sustainable development includes attention to global and local environmental concerns. and committed governments to promote the introduction of cleaner and appropriate energy production and consumption technologies and options;

The Third Meeting of Energy Ministers in Caracas in January 1998, where the Ministers recognized the key role technologies play in managing the environmental aspects related to energy and agreed to exchange information and analyze activities and mechanisms for cooperation between the countries of the Hemisphere;

The Santiago Summit of the Americas of April 1998, in which Heads of State and Government agreed to encourage the exchange of technology, information and experiences, as well as share views on the Clean Development Mechanism.

Implementation and Progress:

The Governments of the Hemisphere have aggressively pursued the energy goals laid down by Heads of State and Government at the Miami Summit of 1994 and subsequent initiatives.

All countries have demonstrated a commitment to environmentally responsible energy development and use and to meet their energy needs while pursuing the protection of the local, regional and global environment, including the full implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Countries of the Hemisphere have all taken actions individually and, through cooperation under the Summit of the Americas, to enhance private sector investment in clean energy production and use and in energy efficiency.

Future Goals and Strategies:

Ministers recognized that to succeed in making sustainable energy development and use a reality for the 21st century, continued and aggressive efforts are needed to, remove remaining impediments to energy trade and investment, to promote projects to address local, regional and global environmental concerns, and to further increase opportunities for the private sector.

Toward these ends, Ministers expressed a commitment to a renewed and strengthened effort to further integrate their energy, economic, and environmental goals. This would build on the progress in energy cooperation initiated by the Heads of State and Government in the Miami Summit of the Americas and reaffirmed in the Santa Cruz Sustainable Development Summit and the Santiago Summit of the Americas, which has reinforced the compatibility of policies for sustainable energy development and use, economic development and protection of the global and local environment.

The Ministers recognized the value of the joint efforts to develop adequate, environmentally responsible and secure energy supplies; enhance overall environmental protection on local, national and global levels and improve the quality of life of individuals through sustainable economic development in their countries.

In order to promote the clean development and use of energy, the Ministers recognized the need for policies, which advance research, development and deployment of energy efficiency, renewable energy technologies and other clean energy technologies.

The Ministers of Energy recognized that sustainable energy policies and development are integral elements of any strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, all countries, taking into account their common but differentiated responsibilities and their specific national and regional development priorities, objectives and circumstances, have agreed to formulate, implement, publish and regularly update national and, where appropriate, regional programs containing measures to mitigate climate change by addressing anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of all greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol, and measures to facilitate adequate adaptation to climate change.

The Ministers recognized the important advances reached in the COP4 of the UNFCCC, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1998, and, in particular, regarding the clean development mechanism, recognized the importance of operationalizing and implementing this mechanism.

Thus, the Ministers reiterated their commitment to the implementation of sustainable energy policies and to take concrete steps to establish policies and programs that will enhance investments in energy efficiency and in clean energy technologies. Moreover, the Ministers recognized the value of promoting the full use, on a voluntary basis, of the flexibility mechanisms referred to in the Kyoto Protocol, in order to fulfill the objectives of the Convention.

In this regard, the Ministers, based on the sovereign right of each State, recognized that each country may adopt unilateral actions and commitments to take full advantage of these mechanisms, as stated in the Kyoto Protocol.