30th Meeting of the Energy Charter Conference
10-11 December 2019, Brussels, Belgium
On 10-11 December 2019, the Albanian Chairmanship hosted the 30th Meeting of the Energy Charter Conference in Brussels, Belgium. This year’s Ministerial Session was chaired by Mr Ilir Bejtja, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Energy of Albania, and Vice-Chair of the Energy Charter Conference. The event was dedicated to facilitating investment in renewables, diversification and efficiency.
Over 100 delegates from over 40 countries participated in the Conference. This year, the Contracting Parties confirmed that the modernisation of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) would be a top priority in 2021. Parties emphasised the unprecedented opportunity for the ECT modernisation to promote innovative solutions by aligning the Treaty with the Paris Agreement objectives.
The meetings included high-level representatives such as H.E. Fafa Sanyang, Minister of Petroleum and Energy of The Gambia, H.E. Irene Margaret Nafuna Muloni, Minister of Energy and Mineral Development of Uganda and Deputy Energy Minister of Energy of Azerbaijan, Mr Samir Valiyev. Azerbaijan will chair the Energy Charter Conference in 2020, and Mr Valiyev highlighted some of the priorities for 2020, mainly increasing renewables, improving energy efficiency and ensuring the security of electricity supply.
During the second day of the Conference, the Energy Charter Award was presented to H.E. Hala Zawati, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources of Jordan. Minister Zawati attached high importance to the Energy Charter and the accession process of Jordan to the ECT. The efforts of the Minister resulted in Jordan ratifying the ECT in August 2018 and joining the Energy Charter Conference as a Contracting Party. Mr Ziad Sabra received the award on behalf of the Minister.
All meetings were initially planned to be held in Tirana, Albania, but had to be relocated due to the tragic earthquake that struck the country late November. The participants held a minute of silence for Albania and the people affected by the disaster.
The year in brief
In 2019, the Chair of the Energy Charter Conference was Ms Belinda Balluku, Minister of Infrastructure and Energy of Albania. The Vice-Chair was Mr Ilir Bejtja, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Energy of Albania. For 2020, Azerbaijan will take over Chairmanship of the Energy Charter Conference. Other Chairs and Vice-Chairs for 2019 included:
- Chair from 1 January 2019 till 1 February 2019: Mr Damian Gjiknuri, Minister of Infrastructure and Energy, Albania
- Vice Chair from 1 January 2019 till 11 February 2019: Ms Dorina Cinari, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Energy, Albania
- Vice Chair: Mr Samir Valiyev, Deputy Energy Minister, Azerbaijan
- Vice Chair: Ms. Elena Popescu, Director General, Ministry of Energy, Romania