The US Department of State hosted the first annual US-Australia Energy Security Dialogue in Washington, DC on 2 October. US Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Energy Resources Frank Fannon and Australia’s Deputy Secretary, Department of Environment and Energy Rob Heferen led discussions.
Officials from the US Departments of Energy and Interior participated in the dialogue along with an Australian delegation from the Departments of Environment and Energy; Industry, Innovation, and Science; and Foreign Affairs and Trade; the Australian Trade and Investment Commission; the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation; and the embassy of Australia in Washington, DC.
The Energy Security Dialogue is an outcome of the 23 February 2018 meeting of President Donald Trump and former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull where the leaders announced the US-Australia Strategic Partnership on Energy in the Indo-Pacific.
This partnership aims to promote regional energy infrastructure and co-operation, open and competitive energy markets, and improved rules and standards in the Indo-Pacific. The concept was broadened to include energy security at the 2018 Australia-US Ministerial (AUSMIN) consultations held in Palo Alto in July.
As part of the dialogue, officials signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance the existing framework for bilateral co-operation and to strengthen areas of mutual interest in the energy sector, to include promoting regional energy security, encouraging open and competitive markets, facilitating bilateral energy trade and investment, and advancing clean energy technology policies to promote research, development, and deployment of innovative energy technologies.
Both American and Australian officials also shared best practice approaches and lessons learned to address shared challenges domestically in energy and resources.
The Energy Security Dialogue builds upon the commitment to foster an Indo-Pacific region where international trade is rooted in market-based principles, private sector-led development, and good economic governance. Australia will host the next Energy Security Dialogue in 2019.