Energy issue tops 2nd East Asia Summit agenda

The 2nd East Asia Summit (EAS) opened on Monday at the Cebu International Convention Center with the renewable energy issue to top the agenda.

Sixteen leaders from EAS will sign a declaration on energy security that is expected to encourage greater use of bio-fuels, reduce the coasts of renewable energy and reduce dependence on expensive crude oil.

The leaders will examine the possibility of a regional fuel stockpile along with other possible ways of holding oil reserves, according to the draft declaration. They will also work toward freer trade on bio-fuels and a standard on bio-fuels used in engines and cars.

The draft, which was approved earlier by foreign ministers, also calls for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions but offers no regional targets.

The 16 countries attended in the 2nd EAS are the 10 ASEAN members: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, ASEAN Plus Three: China, Japan, Republic of Korea and three additional members of the EAS: India, Australia and New Zealand.

ASEAN leaders said in a Chairman's Statement of the 12th ASEAN SUMMIT Sunday after the conclusion of the ASEAN Summit that they agreed to work on a common direction to pursue cooperation in the identified focus areas, including energy security in the East Asian region. "We agreed to convene an EAS Energy issues, including the development and use of alternative and renewable forms of energy.

When first held in 2005, the EAS countries decided to intensify regional cooperation in five areas of concern -- finance, education, health, disaster mitigation and energy security.

The EAS is a pan-Asia forum to be held annually by the leaders of 16 countries in East Asia and the region. The first summit was held in Kuala Lumpur on Dec. 14, 2005 and subsequent meetings will be held after the annual ASEAN leaders' meetings.

The meeting of EAS foreign ministers in Kuala Lumpur on July 26, 2006 identified energy, finance, education, avian flu and disaster mitigation as the priority issues for the 2nd EAS.

The Philippines, the host of the 2nd EAS, has also said the failure of the Doha Round will be on the agenda.

Source: Xinhua

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