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Energy security top of agenda at East Asia Summit.



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Minister for Resources and.Energy

Minister for Tourism

7 August, 2008

ENERGY SECURITY TOP OF AGENDA AT EAST ASIA SUMMIT

The Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP, today attended the East Asia Summit (EAS) Energy Ministers' Meeting in Bangkok. The meeting follows various meetings of the EAS Energy Cooperation Task Force, established to put energy security at the top of the EAS agenda.

Minister Ferguson said: "These meetings are an opportunity for the region to discuss issues of key concern to our development and prosperity and at this point in time, there are few issues of greater importance than energy security.

"Energy security is an international issue requiring a collaborative response and as one of the world's energy superpowers, Australia hopes to play a constructive role in ensuring improved energy security throughout our region.

"Urbanisation and standards of living are increasing in East Asia and so too is demand for energy. The challenge before us is to ensure the energy security required for continued economic growth and rising prosperity in an environmentally sustainable way.

"A carbon-constrained future presents challenges for both coal suppliers such as Australia and our customers in East Asia and highlights the importance of the Australian Government's significant investments in low-emission coal and renewable energy technologies."

Minister Ferguson will use his address to the Summit to highlight the importance of greater integration of regional energy markets.

Australia co-chairs with Singapore the work stream of the EAS Energy Cooperation Task Force on energy market integration.

Minister Ferguson said: "Transparent investment policies and frameworks, and market-based pricing, are vital to efficient, integrated energy markets. These are principles long held by successive Australian Governments.

"As a region, we need policies which promote the development of cleaner energy sources and technologies, and improve energy efficiency."

The 16 nations which form the East Asia Summit represent 48 per cent of the world's population and account for 39 per cent of global GDP. They also purchase around 59 per cent of Australia's goods and services, including energy resources such as coal, gas and uranium.

Media contact: Michael Bradley — 0420 371 744