20 May 2015, The Hague – Energy ministers and other high-level officials from around the world gathered in The Hague, The Netherlands, in order to adopt the International Energy Charter, a political declaration for international energy cooperation.
The result of lengthy negotiations involving around eighty states, the International Energy Charter represents a new and dynamic institutional benchmark outlining the principles governing energy relations between the countries that have adopted this document. It constitutes a modern, non-discriminatory global instrument which aims to address the core energy challenges of the 21st century. These include security of supply, security of demand and that of transit of energy, as well as universal energy access as a means of poverty reduction, and shared environmental responsibility.
The central theme of The Hague ministerial conference was 'Investing in Energy'. Indeed, the International Energy Charter is a critical instrument in moving countries towards a clear commitment to the principle of protection of investments in the energy sector at the global level.
In an extremely fluid global environment, delegates from Africa to the Americas, from Europe to Asia, gathered in The Hague to share a common vision for addressing core areas of concern facing international energy markets. Reliable investment conditions and predictable energy markets are of vital importance for the international economy. So is transparency and good energy governance. Stability of markets enhances investor confidence and helps to build trust between governments and the investor community.
Dr. Urban Rusnák, Secretary General of the Energy Charter Secretariat, stated: "This Ministerial Conference is the culmination of so much effort by so many. Much has been achieved, that should be celebrated. And yet, much remains to be done. This is not the end of a process, but rather the beginning of a process. Today is the dawn of a new age."
The International Energy Charter can be seen as a first step towards accession to the legally binding Energy Charter Treaty. Together, the Charter and the Treaty are envisaged as a major step in helping to stimulate the significant investment flows that are required each year in order to meet the rising global energy demand in a sustainable manner.
The International Energy Charter is done in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Russian languages; translations into Arabic and Chinese are also available.