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Energy Charter CONEXO regional activities regions

MENA region

In 2010, out of 24 Observer countries, 14 were from the MENA region. Between 2010 and 2015 there has been an increasing involvement of MENA countries in the Energy Charter Process:

  • Energy Charter Treaty accession is pending in Pakistan, Yemen and Jordan, while the Secretariat is currently providing support to Morocco and Mauritania, which have confirmed their intention to accede to the Energy Charter Treaty in the near future;
  • Israel, Lebanon and Iran are currently exploring the next steps towards greater involvement in the Energy Charter, including the possibility of signing the International Energy Charter which they adopted in The Hague;
  • Oman, Bahrain, Iraq and Qatar have also been showing interest in the Energy Charter Process.

The explicit MENA interest in the Energy Charter goes hand in hand with the regional and global energy dynamics. Adopting the standards of international law, investment protection and improving regulatory predictability is undoubtedly crucial for the countries in the region to secure investments across the energy value chain. 

Fresh investments in the energy production in the Middle East are crucial, for both regional and global markets, if future oil supplies from the region are to be maintained. According to the IEA, the shortfall of investments in Middle East oil production could lead to the oil price peaking at $130/barrel in 2025. 

To this end, the Energy Charter provides the necessary tools to increase market transparency, strengthen regulatory stability and thus provide greater security for the existing and prospective investors in the region.


In 2015, the Energy Charter was invited for the first time to participate in the G20 “Energy Sustainability” Working Group meetings to address the challenges of “access to energy” in Sub-Saharan Africa and help provide the necessary instruments to promote investments in energy in this region. According to the IEA, only 290 million out of 915 million people have access to electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the total number without access to energy is increasing. 

Alleviation of energy poverty and ensuring universal energy access is indeed one of the key goals of the International Energy Charter, along with providing security of energy supply, demand and transit. 

Many African countries have been actively promoting Energy Charter initiatives and the Charter’s cooperation with ECOWAS on the regional level, which strengthens the Energy Charter’s presence in the region. Chad and Niger signed both the 1991 and the 2015 political declarations, while Nigeria, MauritaniaTanzania and Mozambique are currently preparing Energy Charter Treaty accession reports.

North-East Asia

The signing of the International Energy Charter by China and the Republic of Korea is by far among the most important developments in terms of Energy Charter’s expansion in the region (Japan will also assume the Chairmanship of the Energy Charter Conference in 2016) and globally. 

Most recently, an Energy Charter Industry Advisory Panel (IAP) Meeting took place in Beijing on 21 July 2015. At the meeting, the role of the Energy Charter Treaty was analysed in terms of its relevance for promoting energy investments and contributing to China’s “One Belt One Road” initiative, as well as in securing energy transit on a regional scale. This meeting highlighted the potential benefits of the Energy Charter Treaty for China’s outward investment protection, enhancing confidence in China’s domestic legal environment and increasing China’s influence and involvement in global energy governance structures.

The Secretariat, together with other international partners, works closely to facilitate the Regional Renewable Energy Cooperation in Northeast Asia. Together with the Korean Energy Economics Institute, the Secretariat produced a publication on the potential of the Energy Charter in Asia, which is an example of the strong interest in the Energy Charter on Korea’s part.

The US and Latin America

The US engagement in the Energy Charter Process, which dates back to the 1991 Energy Charter when it signed this political declaration. Signing of the International Energy Charter is a very positive and strong signal of that country’s continuous support for the Energy Charter, as well as its willingness to keep being part in this emerging global energy governance structure. US officials highlighted the role of the Energy Charter in alleviating energy poverty globally and its importance in creating a stable, secure and transparent investment climate in developing countries. 

From Latin America, Chile and Colombia also signed the International Energy Charter, thereby becoming Observers to the Energy Charter Conference. Overall, when it comes to Latin America, there are a number of challenges that countries in the region are currently facing, but also some significant opportunities that can be unlocked if the necessary investments in the energy sector are secured.

The successful wider uptake of the Energy Charter Treaty will now depend on the Modernisation process that it is currently undergoing (the so-called Phase II). Hence, for countries that intend to influence the Energy Charter’s evolution and enforce the principles of energy cooperation that it promotes, this is an important moment for engagement.