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International Energy Charter establishes Research Centre in Beijing

Today, a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Energy Charter Secretariat (ECS) and the China Electricity Council (CEC) on the creation of the International Energy Charter-China Electricity Council Joint Research Centre. The establishment of the Research Centre is to be considered as a new milestone in the relationship between the International Energy Charter and China, after the country signed the International Energy Charter in 2015 and thereby became observer to the Energy Charter Conference.

The main purpose of the Research Centre is to deepen and share the knowledge of the International Energy Charter through research and public activities. Mr Yang Kun, Executive President of the CEC, and Ms Masami Nakata, Assistant-Secretary General of the Energy Charter Secretariat, emphasized that the Research Centre will promote the International Energy Charter and will serve China and the whole Asian region. The Research Centre works on the basis of voluntary contributions. Participation in the Research Centre is open for countries, industry and academia.

The signing ceremony was attended by diplomats from Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) Member countries; Turkmenistan, Poland, The Netherlands, Spain and France. Turkmenistan, as 2017 Chairmanship of the Energy Charter Conference, welcomed the Research Centre and stressed the importance of the strengthened cooperation between the International Energy Charter and China. Poland, major donor of the Research Centre, mentioned the role the Research Centre could play for better, cleaner and more efficient energy systems, like on electric vehicles and clean coal technologies. The Netherlands, as founding father of the Energy Charter Process, stressed the importance of this milestone on China’s path of global energy governance and highlighted the role the Energy Charter Treaty could play for China, and specifically for the energy aspects of the Belt and Road initiative.

Directly after the signing ceremony the first meeting of the Research Centre steering committee was held, which currently consists of representatives of the China Electricity Council, the Energy Charter Secretariat and Poland. Mr Shen Weichun, Deputy Secretary-General at CEC, was appointed as Head of the Centre for the coming three years. The steering committee also decided that the activities of the Research Centre will be focused on energy trade & transit, energy efficiency, investment promotion and protection, investment dispute settlement, energy transition and market reforms.

Note: the CEC, founded in December 1988, is a joint organisation of China's power enterprises and institutions. CEC now has 939 members in total, among which 172 are council members, 77 are executive committee members and 17 are presidential members. Most of these members are engaged in business covering all aspects of the power industry, including power generation, transmission, distribution, engineering, construction and R&D. CEC functions as a bridge between power enterprises and the government.