Lithuania begins accession to the International Energy Agency

Date

2019 07 12

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On Thursday (11 July), Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas met with Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), in Paris. During the meeting, the process of Lithuania’s accession to the influential and prestigious energy club was discussed. On 19 June, the IEA Governing Board unanimously approved Lithuania’s request to join this organisation.

According to Mr Vaičiūnas, when climate change is one of the world’s biggest challenges, the role of the IEA is particularly important.

“Membership in the IEA will become significant international recognition of Lithuania as an advanced energy state. This will provide broad, new opportunities to adopt the experience of the most advanced countries, and also to be an active participant in global discussions and policy-making in addressing key energy, environmental, and climate change challenges,” says the Minister of Energy.

According to the Minister of Energy, although the process of joining the IEA usually takes from two to five years, Lithuania’s goal is to become a member in the shortest possible time. This would allow Lithuania to make use more quickly of the benefits and expert assistance that come with IEA membership in looking for the best solutions in transitioning to climate neutral energy, strengthening the state energy innovation policy, and enhancing energy efficiency.

Lithuania’s experience in the energy sector is already interesting and relevant to the members of the IEA now – energy security problems are being resolved very successfully by ensuring a diversity of gas and electricity supply sources, and renewable energy is being developing rapidly as well.

During the visit, the Minister of Energy also participated in a high-level forum organised by the IEA to discuss the development of hydrogen and other clean technologies in the energy sector. The minister noted that Lithuanian scientists and businesses are working very hard in this field, and that Lithuanian hydrogen technologies are being patented on an international level.

In Paris, the Minister of Energy also met with US Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette, presenting the progress that has been made in synchronising the Baltic States with the grid of Continental Europe, discussing the prospects for the gas market, and noting the record quantities of liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports through the Klaipėda LNG terminal this year. During the meeting, the possibility was also discussed of having US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry visit Lithuania in autumn to inaugurate the 3+1 energy cooperation initiative between the Baltic countries and the United States.

The IEA was established in 1974 in the framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which Lithuania joined in 2018. This authoritative energy organisation unites 30 member states, including the world’s strongest economies – the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the Netherlands and others. Of Lithuania’s neighbouring countries, Estonia and Poland belong to the IEA.

More information about the IEA is available at www.iea.org