Joint Statement from U.S.-France Bilateral Clean Energy Partnership

Joint Statement from U.S.-France Bilateral Clean Energy Partnership

The third High-Level Meeting of the U.S. – France Bilateral Clean Energy Partnership (“Partnership”) was held on May 22, 2024, in Paris, France, co-chaired by the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of State, French Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, and French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.  The Partnership aims to address energy policy, technology, and innovation that advances a suite of zero-emissions energy sources and systems, and to enhance diplomatic efforts that support accelerating energy transitions and achieving climate objectives.

The Partnership convened just weeks before the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings along the Normandy coast, providing an opportunity to reflect on today’s energy security in an evolving landscape.

On this occasion, the co-chairs underscored the deep and enduring relationship between the United States and France on diplomatic and energy matters, which has enabled concerted action to bolster energy security.  The co-chairs reaffirmed their countries’ enduring commitment to Ukraine and its people and condemned Russia’s brutal and illegal, unjustifiable, and unprovoked invasion, including its continued and recently increased strikes targeting Ukraine’s critical energy infrastructure.

Further, the co-chairs reaffirmed a common resolve to work towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement, including by leveraging cutting-edge research and science to accelerate the development and responsible deployment of clean energy technologies, breakthrough innovations, and policies that revitalize the energy sector and pioneer clean industries.

The co-chairs affirmed that ensuring energy systems are efficient, reliable, and durable, integrating larger shares of renewables, enhancing grid flexibility and long-duration storage, and bolstering nuclear energy, which makes up a significant part of today’s electricity production in both countries, is crucial to strengthening energy security and accelerating clean energy transitions to help achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.  In this respect, the co-chairs discussed energy transitions within the United States, France, and globally.  Both sides also discussed critical minerals and critical raw materials (CRM) cooperation and their role in these transitions, including through promoting diverse, responsible, resilient, and secure supply chains, accelerating implementation of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Critical Minerals Security Program, and utilizing the Conference on Critical Minerals and Materials (CCMM) and the Minerals Security Partnership (MSP) to accelerate collaboration.  The two countries will continue their bilateral discussions on critical minerals and critical raw materials.

The co-chairs welcomed the discussions conducted since the last High-Level meeting notably in the field of carbon capture and storage (CCS), hydrogen and CRM.  Recognizing opportunities for further discussions as well as new collaboration areas under the Partnership, the co-chairs endorsed bilateral engagement focused on geological hydrogen, industrial decarbonization, and electricity grids and flexibility.

Appreciating longstanding bilateral cooperation on civil nuclear energy — acknowledged by both countries as a clean/zero emissions energy source that can reduce dependence on fossil fuels to address the climate crisis and improve global energy security — the co-chairs expressed support for ongoing bilateral coordination on civil nuclear projects and policy discussions in order to encourage the development of nuclear energy worldwide.  In the spirit of the COP 28 Declaration to Triple Global Nuclear Energy Capacity by 2050, the co-chairs discussed work on deploying advanced civil nuclear energy-related technologies to meet climate objectives and work on engaging with international financial institutions and regional development banks to encourage the inclusion of nuclear energy in their organizations’ energy lending policies as needed.  Moreover, the co-chairs welcomed convenings of the Partnership’s Nuclear Energy Small Group in Paris, France in July 2023, and Washington, D.C., in March 2024.  The co-chairs acknowledged the leadership of the group of like-minded countries, including the United States, France, Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom, colloquially known as the “Sapporo 5,” to enhance uranium enrichment and conversion capacity and to establish a resilient global uranium supply market free from Russian influence.  In this regard, the co-chairs welcomed the reaffirmation by all G7 parties this year of their commitment to reduce reliance on civil nuclear fuel and services from Russia including promoting a robust fuel supply chain.  The co-chairs also encouraged continued bilateral cooperation on the research and development of advanced civil nuclear technologies, including next generation reactors, advanced fuels and materials, and modeling and simulation.

The Partnership meeting follows the IEA’s 50th anniversary and Ministerial hosted by France, at which France and the United States joined other IEA members in confirming the IEA’s critical role as both an energy security and net-zero energy transition leader,  tracking and, with its members, advancing progress on COP28 energy commitments, and the importance of  the unanimous welcome by IEA Ministers to discussions with India on IEA membership as reflected also separately by statements by Presidents Macron and Biden.  The Partnership meeting also follows the G7 Climate, Energy, and Environment Ministers meeting in Turin where G7 Ministers committed, among other achievements, to increase system flexibility through demand response, grid reinforcement, and a new 1500GW by 2030 global energy storage target turning renewable energy into baseload supply; to phase out existing unabated coal power generation in our energy systems during the first half of the 2030s; and created a new G7 working group on fusion energy.

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