Mission: To promote regional energy cooperation through different strategies and actions for achieving a cleaner, safer, efficient, modern and equitable energy deployment.
Vision: Shared leadership in the implementation of energy initiatives and the exchange of experiences within the countries of the Americas in support of sustainable development objectives.
At the April 2009 Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, leaders of the Western Hemisphere underscored that energy and climate change are among the most important issues confronting our future and they reaffirmed their commitment to work together towards a clean energy future.
Since its inception, ECPA has focus on energy efficiency, renewable energy, cleaner and more efficient use of fossil fuels, energy poverty, and infrastructure. In the first year, nearly a dozen initiatives and projects began under ECPA in these areas, led by the United States, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago. Inter-American and regional institutions such as the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), multilateral development banks such as the World Bank, private sector, civil society, and academia are supporting ECPA.
In April 2010, as part of ECPA, the United States invited Western Hemisphere energy ministers to the Energy and Climate Ministerial of the Americas to highlight progress, announced new partnerships and facilitated the development of new initiatives among governments, institutions, private industry, and civil society. At this ministerial, the United States Government proposed ECPA’s focus be expanded to also include initiatives regarding sustainable forests and land use, as well as climate change.
At the Steering Committee Meeting held in Panama City in May 2016, an update to the Pillars was proposed. The new Structure is as follows:
- Energy efficiency: Promote the development of Energy Efficiency Policies in the Region through a cooperation and exchange framework that includes implementing best practices in specific sectors, promoting awareness and education on environmental/clean energy issues, and consolidating programmatic and regulatory schemes through human resource training, program and project management, and operation.
- Renewable energy: Steps to accelerate clean and renewable energy deployment via project support where feasible, policy dialogues, and scientific collaboration.
- Cleaner and more efficient use of fossil fuels: Promote best practices for managing hydrocarbons and the use of energy technologies, to reduce both pollution and the carbon footprint of conventional energy sources.
- Energy infrastructure: Foster modernized, integrated, and more resilient energy infrastructure through disaster risk management, among other strategies.
- Energy poverty: Target energy poverty with strategies to promote sustainable development and improve access to modern clean energy services and appropriate technologies that can safeguard public health, and reduce environmental impact.
- Regional energy integration: Promote regional energy coordination, cooperation, or harmonization (where feasible) and interconnection between and among countries in the Americas, in order to foster complementarity for the sustainable development of the Region.
- Energy research and innovation: Encourage technological development of innovative systems that make renewable energy widely affordable and available, while fostering applied research based on country-specific needs.
Under ECPA, the lead and/or participating governments and public and private sector partners contribute resources to implement the initiatives. ECPA’s initial focus and structure was developed at the June 2009 Americas Energy and Climate Symposium in Lima, Peru, co-hosted by the Peruvian and U.S. governments and the Institute of the Americas.
Participants acknowledged the enormous potential to accelerate clean energy uptake in the Americas, identified opportunities for partnership under ECPA, and stressed that initiatives should produce tangible results, promote best policy and regulatory practices, and build capacity in the design, evaluation, and implementation of clean and environmentally-sustainable energy policies and projects.
The Second Ministerial Meeting of ECPA took place in Merida, Mexico, on May 25 and 26, 2015. Prior to the Ministerial, preparatory meetings were held in each subregion. The leadership shown by the Government of Mexico in organizing the Second Ministerial Meeting of ECPA laid the foundation for the reactivation of this mechanism for cooperation and for enriching the sharing of experiences regarding energy and climate within the ECPA framework.
During the Second Ministerial Meeting on Energy and Climate, the Minister of Energy of Chile, announced that Chile would host the Third Ministerial Meeting of ECPA.
Looking forward to the third ECPA ministerial, two regional meetings will be held in preparation for this gathering to be convened in Chile on September 2017. Each meeting will address specific energy and climate topics and assess progress to formulate regional positions on themes of common interest with a view to consolidate the Partnership’s structure. These meetings will also serve to take stock of progress on projects and initiatives and discuss ways to strengthen this hemispheric effort. On October 20, 2016 in Miami, Florida, United States, representatives from 19 OAS Member States partook in the first preparatory meeting of the Third Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) ministerial. OAS Member states prepare to participate in a second preparatory meeting to take place in Trinidad and Tobago on April 2017.