Remarks With EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz

SECRETARY KERRY: Good afternoon, everybody. My apologies to all for our being a little bit late. We just ran a little bit behind, and Federica and I had an opportunity to have a meeting and unfortunately got interrupted even in that, but I appreciate everybody's patience. I'm very, very honored to be joined by the United States co-chair, my colleague-in-mischief here, Ernie Moniz, and --


SECRETARY KERRY: And worse. (Laughter.) And my good friend - our good friend, the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, who's been a great partner on so many vital issues, as I just described to people publicly - from Iran to Ukraine to climate change to Syria and the T-TIP and so forth. We seem to have a massive amount of our global agenda contained in the relationships here in this room, which speaks volumes to the strength of the EU-U.S. partnership in general, and I know people in certain countries take note of that because I think it's important.

I also want to thank Vice President Sefcovic and Commissioner Arias Canete for their help and leadership in advancing the clean energy agenda, both for Europe as well as all the rest of us on this planet. And I'm particularly happy to welcome Minister Dijksma here of the Netherlands. Their partnership has also been very, very key.

This is the seventh meeting of the U.S.-EU Energy Council, and I might comment simply that this - the creation of the council was one of the first actions of the Obama Administration in 2009 because the President wanted to put a significant focus on energy. It remains an issue of strategic importance to the United States and I think to everybody at this table and is a key pillar of our engagement with those of you who are assembled here.

Now, all of us have made this council a very top priority and we've done so for a very simple reason: because energy security and the flight against - fight against climate change are directly connected not only to the protection of our environment, but obviously to issues of economic growth and of geopolitical stability and global security. So these two central issues are linked to one another in ways that everybody here understands fully, and I don't need to go through all of that.

But the choices we can make will have a profound impact on all of our economies, and I guess if it weren't for the nature of some of the discourse in my own country it would go without saying that it is profoundly important to resolving the issue of climate change, where the most significant thing in terms of the United States at this moment of the gathering of some 200 countries signing on the other day is that there's no longer any dispute in the rest of the world about whether or not this is happening. And I hope certain folks take note of that.

Since our last gathering in December of 2014, we've made some gains in securing the flow of energy to Central Europe, to Southeast Europe, and to the Baltics. And we've seen greater integration throughout the European energy market, which is really important. It's one of the goals we set and we talked about in Brussels and throughout the last few years.

We've helped Ukraine reduce its dependency on Russia for gas. And for the first time this past winter, Ukraine received more natural gas from Europe than from Russia, which shows what can happen when you put a strategy in place. In the past month, the United States exported our first LNG cargoes around the world, including to Europe, and I just got notice the other day from Amos Hochstein that one of them, I think, has made port. And so this is now a big step forward.

Meanwhile, in Paris, the U.S. and the EU led the effort, I'm happy to say, to complete this important signal to the marketplace that is really what comes out of Paris. We all know we didn't - we were never going to be able to get to the point where everybody signed on to a mandatory set of mandatory reductions and targets that guaranteed that you're going to hit the 2 degrees centigrade target. But knowing that, we also understood the importance of coming together to set the signal to the marketplace about the trillions of dollars that are going to be spent on alternative renewable clean energy and the clean energy future. And I was honored to join Maros, Miguel, and Sharon and representatives from over the 170 countries that actually wound up signing.

In our meetings today, we're going to take stock on the progress that we're making. We're going to try to focus on what's next. We want to have an unstilted, open kind of dialogue, and try to not just move forward with the implementation of the Paris agreement, but expand the use of clean energy worldwide and thereby bolster energy independence in the EU, as well as find new ways to assist Ukraine. And we're also going to discuss one other specific issue of deep concern to me and to everybody here, and I think that's the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. This project has provoked a very heated debate on both sides of the Atlantic, and we are convinced would absolutely have an adverse impact on Ukraine, on Slovakia, and Eastern Europe. And we cannot lose sight of that.

Clearly, there is therefore a lot on our agenda, and I'm delighted now to yield the floor to the High Representative of the EU Federica Mogherini.

HIGH REPRESENTATIVE MOGHERINI: Thank you, John. It's really a pleasure to be here. Thank you, Ernie, all the other friends and colleagues, first of all, for hosting this council here in Washington after the last time we met in Brussels in - just after a few days after we started, actually, our mandates.

And I have to say also thank you for the excellent cooperation we have on a daily basis on a full range of issues. Foreign policy is the one we experience every day, John and I, but also our colleagues and friends in every single sector of our work on the two sides of the Atlantic. We are for each other a key partner and our partnership is vital for the rest of the world. And we have, I think, demonstrated that very clearly with our work on climate change when we managed to build consensus around the agreements that just last week 170 countries and organizations signed in New York, but also something else on which we work together with John and Ernie so much, the Iranian deal. If we think of all the things we have achieved in the last years, we've done that together. And I think this says a lot about the strength of our partnership and the relevance of it for our people and for the rest of the world.

Today the two topics we'll deal with - energy on one side and climate change on the other - are of fundamental importance for our people both in America and in Europe. And sometimes we refer to these issues as something relevant for the future generations, and this is for sure true. I think I saw you signing the deal with your granddaughter. But it is also relevant for the presence of our countries, of our people, and this is why we will focus today and also in the future on our joint responsibility to work together on the implementation of the agreement we managed to shape last year. Because we know that when Europe and America work together on something as important as that, there is really the possibility for change, because the real thing is that, yes, climate change is happening now, but we can change climate change and this is our responsibility. And the time is now. No time to lose.

The same sense of urgency inspires our work on energy security. John said it very well. We have established maybe for the first time in a very much joined-up approach an energy strategy for the European Union that considers also the external aspects of it as geopolitical elements but also elements of security for Europe. That means establishing a fully liberalized and interconnected energy market for Europe, diversifying our fuels, our suppliers, and our supply routes following this coherent energy union strategy.

And both our union and the United States believe that we have to prevent energy from being used as a political weapon, as we are very well aware that energy resources are still a major source of conflict, and together we believe we can lead the way towards 21st century rules for trade in energy. And part of our discussion today will be on the next steps to agree on such rules.

We also work together, as John underlined, to support our friends in our region starting from Ukraine and to responsibly develop energy infrastructure and resources in other parts of the world that are close to Europe. I think of the Mediterranean, Africa, but also Central and Southeast Europe, Central Asia. This is a common work that we are trying to develop together.

But through our cooperation we can help energy-insecure countries all across the globe, and this is also part of our investment in global security - for instance, fostering sustainable development in Africa and in the Caribbean - and I know that you're dealing with that with our Caribbean friends right in these days. If you put together Europe and America, we have the best scientists, some of them sitting at the table, the best engineers, the best innovators worldwide. And together we can truly make a difference to protect our planet while also creating new jobs, investing on clean energy, in technologies, and in energy efficiency. And we feel this responsibility.

Moreover, we have here apparently a sort of climate week going on in Washington. The European Union has promoted the Going Green Conference. We have the Climate Action Summit in the next two days. And we are sure that we can make something profitable out of that. We want to make this more concrete, and we know that, again, as the European Union and America have managed to build consensus in the world on a very ambitious - revolutionary, I would say - climate change agreement, we feel this common global responsibility on our shoulders to continue our cooperation in practical terms to make this happen for real in these coming months, not necessarily years.

I thank you very much and I think I give the floor to Ernie in a full, cooperative spirit. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY KERRY: Before Ernie starts, can I just tell you, because you were sweet enough to mention my granddaughter who sat on my lap - so she sat on my lap as I wrote my name with my right hand, and when I took her back and delivered her to her mother, she said, "I no draw on paper." (Laughter.) She was very upset. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY MONIZ: Well, that's great. And that just reminds me, John, being together with you and Federica again makes me miss 2015. It was such a great year. (Laughter.)

HIGH REPRESENTATIVE MOGHERINI: We have to do that again. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY MONIZ: And also, welcome again our friends --

SECRETARY KERRY: Christmas at the Coburg.

SECRETARY MONIZ: Our friends - we have some jokes we cannot mention in the current - in current situation. And Maros and Miguel - actually, Federica, you mentioned climate week here, but I would argue that we are at the beginning of the U.S.-EU climate and security month, having just returned with Miguel from Japan for G7 plus EU energy ministers. Today, then later, in June 1st and 2nd in San Francisco - and Maros will be there - the clean energy ministerial and the Mission Innovation meetings I think just shows the intensity of what we are doing to follow through on our energy security commitments, but also to now really launch on this road from Paris in terms of implementation of the agreement.

I would just mention that in the energy security meeting in Japan, it brought back to us the energy security principles of the G7 and the EU two years ago, and just to start by emphasizing, as they did, the collective nature of energy security and how we are all in this together in terms of energy security. And there's obviously no doubt that we are all in this together in terms of climate change.

I would just mention one other aspect of our work together, and that is the work on technology. In Paris, the first day of Paris, our leaders - leaders of 20 countries - the United States, many of the EU countries - announced Mission Innovation, in which we will all seek to double our energy R and D over five years, opening up the innovation pipeline to stimulate investments by the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, led by Bill Gates, and others, to have those new technologies come into force - and I mean force - over these next years and decades.

In particular, I'd just say that if we look at the two meetings coming up in San Francisco that, again, we'll all be engaged with, the clean energy ministerial in many ways is about deploying the technologies that we have successfully developed over these last years in these next years, while Mission Innovation will underpin the increased ambition that we will need going forward after the horizon of the Paris commitments.

So I think this is a well put together vision and one in which, as you said, the science and engineering capabilities of the United States and the European Union are going to be central to realizing this - not only for ourselves, but for all of our colleagues around the world, in developed and developing countries. So I certainly look forward to discussions today in terms of the linked issues of security and climate. Thank you.

SOURCE: U.S. State Department